Grigor Pasha writes: The formalities — yes, I’ll meet the press; no don’t arrange an inter-squad friendly; no don’t send me a copy of the club’s ‘proud’ history — oh, you just have, anyway (exactly what definition of ‘proud’ are you using? — over, I turn to the real business: appointing staff.
More specifically, appointing medical staff.
I see this step, on my first morning at work, as my most important. If I can appoint a strong medical team, we can gain a competitive edge.
We should be able to keep the squad size to a minimum, which will help make the wage budget go further; we should be able to get the best out of players; and it should make them more willing to come here.
Other managers might see a star centre forward as the most important acquisition, but I don’t. For me, it’s the boys with the magic sponges. (Look, I know that way of speaking dates me a bit, but I’m a child of the fifties, so live with it!)
The board say they’re happy with the current medical team.
Well, I disagree. One fella — a Head Physio (‘Head ‘of what exactly?) – does not constitute a team.
But, to their credit, the board, despite their complacency, will permit me to appoint another physio and a couple of sport scientists.
For me, this is a no-brainer. I’m prepared to make economies elsewhere, but if I’m allowed a four-person medical team I’ll go for it.
There was no mention of a sport psychologist though. Why not?
Anyhow: this morning I’ve decided to keep the incumbent in place and have offered contracts to a further three people. Each of them has been offered an ‘avoid relegation’ bonus equivalent to 20% of their annual wage and a further bonus for reaching the second round of the cup, equivalent to 5%.
The bonuses should incentivise them to, in effect, help me keep my job.
To make up for my ‘boys’ reference above, I should add that one of the people I’ve offered a contract to is the only female scientist I’ve come across. I don’t remember any of those in my playing days, back in the ’80s; but then, come to think of it, I don’t remember any sport scientists of any gender.
So, assuming she pitches us, welcome Veneta Taneva:
She might not look up to much, but I figure she’s young and has scope to improve. And at least she’ll contribute to the disciplined and professional ethos that I’m seeking to build.
Besides, despite my crusty ways, deep down I’m a bit of egalitarian.