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Pulis & Steve McClaren top new table of over-achieving football managers

Dr Sue Bridgewater with Tony Adams and Stuart PearceTony Pulis, Steve McClaren and Sam Allardyce take the top 3 slots in a new table of “over achieving” football managers published today by Dr Sue Bridgewater at Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick. The table outlines the extent which managers out perform what might be expected with the players at their disposal.

Many businesses, services and organisations are dominated by leagues and results, none more so than football where a single point can determine promotion and relegation at this, the “business-end” of the season. And points really do mean prizes. The single ninety minutes of the Championship play-off final means a potential prize of £60 million (the revenue to be gained from promotion to the Premier league).

No one wants to take away from the achievements of leading managers such as Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Roberto Mancini or Carlo Ancelotti in that high pressure environment. However it is possible to calculate the extent to which managers out perform what might be expected with the players at their disposal.  Warwick Business School’s Dr Sue Bridgewater has done exactly that in a new table published this week in her new book Football Management.

Taking into account the finances (average wage bill) of the clubs Dr Bridgewater calculates that the most consistent football management over-achiever in the five seasons up to 2008 is Tony Pulis followed by Steve McClaren and Sam Allardyce. In all cases their performance is based only on their league management performance.

The top 10 of that table now follows:

Average number of league places above wage rank for 5 seasons up to 2008

1          Tony Pulis                           6.6

2          Steve McClaren                   6

3          Sam Allardyce                     5.6

4          Brian Laws                         5.5

5          Billy Davies                         5.3

6          Paul Jewell                         5.3

7          Bobby Williamson               5

8          Ian Holloway                      4

9          Neil Warnock                      3.8

10        Paul Sturrock                      3.4

Dr Sue Bridgewater says:

“The research shows that the role of club context and resources strongly influences  the results a football manager might be expected to achieve. However clubs are still quick to blame the managers themselves on poor results and too easily turn to management sackings. Such sackings give only a short-term gains and often actually cause longer-term negative effect on team performance.”

As well as researching football management for many years Dr Bridgewater has run Applied Management courses designed to assist current and aspiring football managers with their business management skills at Warwick Business School. Stuart Pearce, Head Coach, England Under 21s said “I was fortunate enough to work with Sue Bridgewater when the Applied Management course at Warwick Business School was in its infancy. Sue casts a critical eye over the challenge of modern football management and the short-term thinking that too often hinders real progress. Through her work with the League Managers’ Association she talks from a true position of knowledge and shows understanding of the issues surrounding the modern manager."

Howard Wilkinson, Chairman of League Managers Association said that Sue’s latest research “provides an objective viewpoint, is clearly and rationally explained, and also allows an academic insight to not just a precarious, but also an intriguing, profession which offers millions of fans a daily source of interest and conversation.”

Note for editors:

Full details of this analysis can be found in Dr Sue Bridgewater’s, Football Management, published this week by Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 0230238416

Review Copies available on request. Contact Sue on 07960 679513

Podcast on Football Management - with Dr Sue Bridgewater   Download    ( Length 34:53, size 31.9 MB )

For further information please contact:    

Dr Sue Bridgewater Warwick Business School
University of Warwick
024 76524341

Peter Dunn, Head of Communications, University of Warwick 
Tel:  024 76 523708 Mobile 07767 655860

PR39 4th May 2010




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