Football: Wenger advises on job survival

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The Independent Online
THE ARSENAL manager, Arsene Wenger, said yesterday he believed top coaches need to plan "soccer divorce settlements" carefully in advance to help their survival in jobs with big clubs.

Speaking to an international audience at the Football Expo conference, the Frenchman said he felt detailed preparations of this part of managers' contracts were just as important as anything else. "Some coaches don't do this part of it right, but it is very important," Wenger said. "It is vital when you are in a marriage to know how the divorce will work, too. Nobody wants to lose their job. It is very humiliating, but it is what happens to coaches.

"So it is important to be prepared. It is good for a coach to do the background work to make sure he is stable. It is a part of the job in working out how to survive and it is good for the team and the club. If you slow the owners or directors down, it gives the team a chance to recover. I think this kind of preparation is right."

Wenger said only the threat of a huge pay-out stopped owners and directors from sacking the coach when their team hit a spell of poor form. Wenger said a modern coach's job was to try and avoid becoming unbalanced by different factions pulling in different directions - the club owners, the players, their agents, the media and the fans. "You have to be very disciplined and strong and you need to stick to your ideals," he said.

Wenger also criticised the rampant inflation created by players' wage demands in the wake of the Bosman ruling. He said this had unsettled clubs in recent seasons and removed all old-fashioned sense of loyalty from the game. "The players are very rich now and they can move where they want, from one club to another," he said. "A player can go from Ajax to Milan and then to Barcelona and always be paid well. Their rewards are no longer related to their performances."

Also in Cannes, Franz Beckenbauer, president of Germany's World Cup campaign team, said that he was disappointed at England's decision to stand against his country in the race to stage the tournament in 2006.

"We supported England to get the European Championship in 1996 so we expected support from them for the World Cup," he said.

But another major candidate, Brazil, received a strong knockback from one of its leading officials. "I am pessimistic about our chances," said Jaime Franco, executive director of the umbrella union for Brazil's biggest clubs, the Uniao des Grandes Clubes Brazilieros.

The World Cup made a provisional profit before tax of 505 million French francs (pounds 54.1m), the French organising committee president (CFO), Michel Platini, said yesterday.

Revenue had been 2.9bn French francs (pounds 310m), which Platini described as "very satisfying."

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