By now, most nay all know that Monchi, or Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo to quote his full name, is going back to Sevilla and won’t be coming to us.
But then the change in attention to this, from a few decades ago, is stark.
Back then, we would not have cared about appointments like this. But times do and always change – and I feel fans of all clubs should care about non-direct team appointments.
Then and now
Back in the 1990s, or 1980s, few knew how clubs run financially in good detail. And at the least, the information wasn’t present as it is now.
Most fans knew who their board members were – I doubt there were many Gooners out there who didn’t know the late Peter Hill-Wood was our Chairman, or that David Dein was our Vice-Chairman. Ken Friar was and still is a member of the board, and former member Lady Bracewell-Smith also had a significant shareholding.
But in the 80s and 90s, it was far more the player appointments or managerial changes, that was the big news. And some of our stars in that period had some noted indiscretions – Adams, Parlour, Merson amongst others are apparent which all were highlighted in the news.
If it were known that Arsenal got in a new technical director, it would not have been a major thing, and most fans would not have been enthralled.
Though today is different. The Premier League and mega sponsorships have improved the financial structures in the sport. And how clubs are run is different compared to decades’ past.
The money in contemporary football, and the different ways that clubs compete these days, means that a director of football is a requisite thing.
In decades’ past, and without the TV money and sponsorship deals, clubs didn’t need to scout universally for players. There was no need for a competitive edge in this regard. If anything, it was Wenger who introduced this not just to Arsenal, but the Premier League overall, as there weren’t many top youngsters who were attracted to England by top clubs until Vieira came.
To use an analogy, it’s like running an energy-extraction firm in the 1960s compared to today. Back then, the tools required for success were different, since there was no clamour for renewable fuels, or protecting biodiversity, or ensuring local communities weren’t affected negatively. It was a different time with different needs. Whilst profits were and still important, as our market share and revenues, there are other factors that make a successful firm in that industry. It’s why BP is called now Beyond Petroleum, since it’s a new time and there is more to being an oil/gas firm.
The same is true of a football club.
Dry? Dull? BORING??
Maybe’s it’s a bit dry and dull, or boring, to take note of this stuff.
And football, nay any sport, is about winning and competing and seeing players do this.
But there are factors that engender the capacity to compete well.
And today, one such factor is money and having the right support staff.
Back “in the day”, fans didn’t care about the chief doctor that much. Yet this is a key advantage to have since fit players mean more potential winning on the pitch.
It’s just, to re-iterate an earlier point, the changing of what football is and how to be successful in the game.
And for us, money is a premium topic, given the environment that we and many other clubs operate in. We have six, and potentially seven if Wolves or Everton improve, clubs going for four Champions League places. And the Champions league is the promised land of footballing revenues.
We’re also competing for the same top players and money is a factor in getting and keeping them. Yes, we are the Arsenal. In some regards, our name alone can get players. But then Manchester United can say the same – and they’re a bigger club than we are. Liverpool too is a global name, and let’s be frank Chelsea and Manchester City are too. Even Spurs, whilst not having the success to warrant being a global name, is still seen as a rising force in the football sphere.
So we need to use every tool at our disposal to compete.
Stating “we didn’t care years ago” is one thing. But in the 1990s, we didn’t need to care. In 2019, we do now.
Times change and things move on, and I trust the club can get the best Director of Football to help us get back to the level we should be at.
So in reality, I don’t care about Monchi – since he’s in Spain now. But I DO care about the best person for the job, whoever it can or should be, to help us compete back at the very top again.