Column: Don't waste the crisis - is your strategy ready for a thorough review?

3 April 2020

Mads Davidsen
Photo: PA Images "Football clubs need to take control of their own strategy and stick to it, regardless of who is appointed manager. The recruitment of a manager should be driven by the club's vision, strategy, style of play, recruitment strategy, etc. It should be about finding the right person to fulfil this vision. Not changing it."
Mads Davidsen, owner at Optima Football, strategic advisor, professional football coach & director, urges clubs to take a close look at their strategic approach.

Rick Parry from the EFL encouraged clubs to use the current coronavirus crisis to take a look at their business model. Mads Davidsen agrees - and presents a model capable of revealing weaknesses in a club's chosen strategy.

Mads Davidsen was assistant coach and head of recruitment to Sven-Göran Eriksson when he was at Guangzhou R&F. He also worked as technical director at Shanghai SIPG FC - who won the title with a squad of mainly homegrown players.

The big problem in most clubs is the excessive power of the manager/head coach. When they leave a club, and they do that very often, the whole strategy has to change - a well-known scenario which is extremely expensive.

However, there is another model to pursue, one in which the club take back the power and work together to build long-term success on and off the pitch.

Mads Davidsen, owner at Optima Football, strategic advisor, professional football coach and director

Michael Porter, one of the world's most influential strategic thinkers in modern business life, was spot on. He said something like: "When times are rough and shaky, true leaders will find the time to look at the strategy of the company. And find out how to change it."

Some might argue that maybe now is the time to take a close look at the strategy. I also noticed that an experienced and respected leader like Rick Parry from the EFL last week said that clubs should think about if they could "reset their business models."

I couldn't agree more.

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