Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Saturday March 24 2007
Sack Him Or Trust Him
Like many other City fans, I was punching the air at the Middlesbrough result. The win also eased my anxiety about Stuart Pearce, although I have to say that I am still not fully convinced of his ability. And let's face it, the choice has still to be made between sacking Stuart and trusting him, and the consequences of getting this decision wrong are devastating. Nevertheless, the choice will have to be made by Mr. Wardle and his directors, and it has to be made soon.
The likelihood is that a new manager would initially inspire the team and so give a boost to performance. Though this is usually a short-lived thing, after which the team's performance declines. But perhaps an initial inspiration and boost is all that the team needs to pick up enough points for safety. A new manager might bring other problems. He will want a contract for a few seasons and a good salary, and if he turns out to be a failure and is sacked before his contract expires, City will have to pay up with money it might have used to buy players.
The financial consequences of relegation to the Championship have always been severe, but they are now made much more severe by the Premiership's negotiation of the new £625 million TV deal. In the deal, the winner of the Premiership will now net £50 million (£30 million last season), while the team even finishing bottom will net about £26 million. Other clubs will receive greater merit payments in proportion to their final league position.
A further consequence of relegation could be the loss of the American interest in Manchester City. This interest in City is something I find difficult to separate from the building of the new Super Casino at Sportcity. What a disappointment it would be to lose the Americans, when some of the people that might be involved in a takeover could put Roman Abramovich in the shade. Take for example Sheldon Adelson, son of a Boston cabdriver, he borrowed $200 from his uncle to sell newspapers at the age of 12, his net worth now is $20.5 billion. He bought the old Sands casino for $128 million, demolished it and built in its place the $1.5 billion Venetian casino resort and Sands Convention Centre. In doing so he changed the way Las Vegas does business, by taking the emphasis off gambling and attracting conventioneers to the city mid-week. What a chairman he might make! The Evil Empire would be shaking in its red overdrafts.
John Wardle and his directors have the decision to make about Stuart's future, a decision that will take a lot of courage and careful thought. I believe that for any kind of a win or draw at Newcastle, whether good, bad or indifferent, Stuart must be given the chance to continue. On the other hand, if the worst happens, and Mr. Wardle and the directors are confident they have a better man ready to step in, then sadly, Stuart should go.
Date:Saturday March 24 2007
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