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Patches OHoolahan

This "new structure"...

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Presumably the board has been planning this new structure for some time. In his interview with Michael Bailey, Ed Balls framed Neil''s dismissal in terms of the board discussing this new structure and plans for next season.

How do we envisage this working? The director of football/head coach model appears to be the direction of travel, with the new CEO being less hands-on when it comes to player transfers. Perhaps this was planned in conjunction with the dismissal of Moxey? You don''t need a CEO in the style of Moxey or McNally in place if you have a DoF. It wouldn''t surprise me if Steve Stone ends up being appointed as permanent CEO with a more functional role overseeing the business as a whole and informing the DoF/head coach of the budget for wage and transfer expenditure.

I can see benefits to using a genuine DoF model. It would result in greater forward planning and consistency in terms of transfers and it would decentralise power in terms of the running of club affairs which means it''s less damaging when say the CEO/DoF leaves. However there are also dangers if the model is not correctly implemented. An unscrupulous DoF could be waiting in the wings to replace the head coach or at least may be perceived to have pretensions to that effect and may not communicate effectively with the head coach. This is why picking the right personnel is so crucial.

I sincerely hope that I have interpreted Balls'' comments correctly and that they have been planning this restructure for some time with rigorous procedures in place to ensure that we make a success of it. Executed correctly, we could be lucky enough to emulate the likes of Southampton, who use the DoF model very effectively. But if we get the DoF appointment wrong, we could risk alienating a talented head coach and putting back our development as a club by some time. I look forward to the club releasing more details next week...

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