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BIG DECISION


coco

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PAT NEVIN: BIG DECISION

Posted on: Tue 10 Feb 2009

Well judging by the vast majority of the vast number of the e-mails I have received over the past few weeks, yesterday's announcement will not have been a huge shock to many Chelsea fans.

It is however undoubtedly the case that it was only grudgingly that many of the faithful agreed with the dismissal of Luiz Felipe Scolari, because in simple terms we liked him. The Brazilian's honesty, openness and humour were refreshing from day one and his generosity towards opponents would have been a phenomenon unusual enough to spark an FA investigation if it had come from anyone else.

A good guy, and a good manager but as time went on he didn't seem like the right manager at the right time for the club. In his defence I have said before that it is not easy to triumph with what is essentially a squad built by someone else, that played in a different style to the one he favoured, all the time remembering that resources were more limited than they were before. These will be the same challenges that the new man/men will face when the announcement is made sooner or later.

Obviously we would all like the decision to be a quick one, but considering it may shape the club's direction for years to come it is more important that it is the right one.

By now we have all heard a raft of names that have been linked to the post and most if not all are very impressive. Each of us have also got our own favourites who we would like to see on board and I am no different, but only the club will know, or at least find out very soon, who is actually available.

Availability could well be the key and as such the club may be forced into placing a caretaker in control for a while. The Juventus game in the Champions League is looming and as such there is a need for something to be done in the short term, something that might not be right for the club and the direction it is going in the medium to longer term.

Having done the job in the past for a Scottish Premier team I know how complex getting a new manager in can be. First of all it isn't just a manager, it is his entire team these days. The contracts for all these individuals, particularly the manager, can be hideously complicated.

You can bet your bottom dollar one of the first debates Chelsea will have with the new man, one that will be initiated very early on by his people, 'what will the severance package be?' It sounds odd, it sounds negative, but in such a volatile job it is sadly only sensible.

It is not just remuneration that will be involved in the talks of course, any body taking over at a club the size of Chelsea with, more importantly, the level of expectation for the club, will want to know how much he has to spend and how much control he is going to have over the budget as well as the specific comings and goings when the transfer window opens again in the summer.

Before choosing your men you have to know how it will affect every part of the organisation. Of course the ability to bring success to the first team is paramount, but how will he mesh with youth development? Does he want to run that as well? Does he want to change it radically? Does he like the staff that are currently there? And this is only one of many areas of the organisation to be considered.

With the club avowed to cutting costs, they will be wary of making another appointment which will lead to yet another huge pay out if it doesn't work. On the other hand, the cost of losing to Juventus and to be brutally honest, the cost of failing to qualify for the Champions League next season by not finishing in the top four of the Premier League is unthinkable, even if it is very possible at the moment.

While all this is going on the players will be getting together and trying to keep things as normal as possible with Ray Wilkins at the helm. Ray will enjoy the role no doubt but it will be hard for him, as he is relatively new in there as well. It was probably easier for the man who had a similar role when José Mourinho left. At that time it was Stevie Clarke who helped ensure a level of continuity was in place when Avram Grant came in and of course it took us all the way to Moscow and that Champions League Final.

Often at the end of these articles I say good luck to the team for the next game, on this occasion I really do think it is more appropriate to say good luck to the team that will have to choose the new boss. I honestly do not envy their task right now.

http://www.chelseafc.com/page/LatestNews/0...1551769,00.html

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