MX23RW : Thursday, July 9 11:39:30| >> :120:46451:46451:

Michael Johnson talks up importance of sporting directors in modern football

Manchester United are among the club who do not have a sporting director.

Former Birmingham and Derby defender Michael Johnson believes the sporting director role is vital in order to run a successful football club.

Managers who want to control everything have an impossible job, said Johnson.

And he makes a passionate argument that they should be left to coach the first team and leave the long-term planning to a sporting director.

Stuart Webber File Photo
Stuart Webber (right), pictured with manager Daniel Farke, has made a success out of the sporting director role at Norwich (Nigel French, PA)

"Football has evolved and you have to give the club the best opportunity to be successful, to have the best strategy," he said.

"It can be such a volatile industry and you have to have a long-term strategy, with pathways clearly set out."

Johnson, who also played for Notts County and is now an England under-21 coach, argues that there is so much pressure on the manager to get results that a sporting director is needed to help support him.

It is an area he is keen on developing after completing the Master of Sport Directorship course at Manchester Metropolitan University and then the UEFA MIP (Executive Master for International Players) course.

Most Premier League clubs have a sporting director but some, such as Manchester United, have so far resisted creating a specific role.

He said: "The sporting director has to make sure all the components of the club are all operating with one vision.

"Someone holds the keys for this long-term vision at the club and must make sure it is working towards the same goal.

"A manager could be five games from the sack and it needs consistency behind to keep the club going. The managers are in control – they are responsible for the day-to-day running with some knowledge of the long-term vision. 

"You need to get the right manager in who understands the objectives of the club."

Birmingham v Crewe
Johnson out jumps Crewe's Neil Sorvel during his time at Birmingham (PA)

Johnson admits it is "quite a conflict" if a manager wants to "rule" a club.

"But you have to have someone who connects different parts of the club together," he said.

"Coaches now have to manage people and egos and get the best out of them. The most important thing is to get results on a Saturday.

"But the business of football is so big now, help is needed."

On the current coronavirus pandemic, Johnson is keen to see football return but safety must come first.

Coronavirus – Sat May 9, 2020
Football stadiums have remained empty but many, like Old Trafford. have been helping with Covid-19 testing (Manchester United)

The father-of-three said: "Whatever decision is made, it's going to cause problems. This is an unprecedented time – there is not going to be a right or wrong answer. But as long as everyone is safe, that's the main thing.

"It's a tragedy what's happening. I've managed to get some learning out of the last few weeks. We are making sure we are getting something out of this situation and how we move forward and be better individuals. We need to take stock, reset and move forward."

ID:399377:

Click here for more stories about Michael Johnson

Click here for more stories about Birmingham City

Share this article now:
Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic pictured in October 2019
Read Next:
Chelsea 'to be offered Miralem Pjanic in Jorginho deal'
>
Latest Sports Video
Did you know...?
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.
Read more about Michael Johnson Football

rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom422214673403380
2Leeds UnitedLeeds41239963342978
3Brentford422291175344175
4Fulham4221101156441273
5Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest4218141054421268
6Cardiff CityCardiff421616106054664
7Swansea CitySwansea421615115549663
8Preston North EndPreston421710155551461
9Derby CountyDerby421613135655161
10Blackburn RoversBlackburn421611155955459
11Millwall421417114846259
12Bristol City421610165561-658
13Reading421411175348553
14Queens Park RangersQPR42158196067-753
15Wigan AthleticWigan421411174653-753
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds421410185159-852
17Birmingham CityBirmingham421213175267-1549
18Middlesbrough421114174253-1147
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield421211194963-1447
20Stoke CityStoke41137215461-746
21Charlton AthleticCharlton421210204757-1046
22Hull City42129215774-1745
23Barnsley421012204667-2142
24Luton TownLuton42118234779-3241

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!