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  • Writer's pictureGuy Liddall

Decide on your goal before you decide your measure (Part 1)

If you look at the Health Service, the Education Service and even the good old Co-op, it does seem that “the accountants are running the asylum”. I really have nothing against accountants, they are great clients, pay our bills almost on time and help me with my tax return – they are good at their job. But, and how can I put this, I don’t necessarily want you to run the show. Just like I wouldn’t want the scorer at a cricket match opening the batting, being good at figures doesn’t always hack it in the middle. Let’s just say that if I wanted a good football manager I wouldn’t turn to you first. Because I don’t see measurement and figures as being quite as important as you do. Not every training session is a profit opportunity. I  wouldn’t perhaps analyse in-depth my fans’ satisfaction at every game. And while I support West Ham (sorry) and aspire to play the most attractive football in the league, I wouldn’t have swapped that for points in the second half of this season. But supposing someone other than the Premier League ran our biggest competition. Intelligent, enthusiastic, numerate managers decided to protect their brand. So now every fan has to fill out one of those cards after the game. “On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied were you with your experience today?” Extra points could be deducted or awarded according to the results. The League suddenly said that players were not entertaining enough. Or at least not in the way they said was entertaining. Now players are individually assessed on their completed passes, tackles and fouls. Those not hitting the right numbers were penalised financially or even suspended. Those going through a bad spell were transferred. “Ah” – thinks the League – “a profit opportunity”. Supposing we can help in these transfers “making sure the quality of the players is at the level we want”. Proper assessments are now run by the League on football skills, fitness, stamina and most controversially on communication skills, because they want better post match interviews. The problem is for clubs that these tests are very expensive and even worse, if players failed they couldn’t work in the League. A young Beckham or Rooney wouldn’t have stood a chance, whereas a Robbie Savage would have passed with flying colours. Tough, but the League didn’t really like the players they were attracting. Make sense? I doubt it, I am not sure how satisfied each club would be with 10 left footed midfielders who could quote Byron, Shelley and Keats. But if the “Computer Say No” who are we to argue?


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