2 March 2023 - 3:59 PM


Jack Ross when he was manager of Sunderland in the Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final against Charlton Athletic at Wembley.

Corporate governance in football: “We didn’t spend time talking about where the club wanted to be in three, five or seven years’ time”

  • Jack Ross, the former Sunderland manager, thinks both clubs and managers should be more thorough in job interviews. “I am not only blaming the clubs, this is very much my own responsibility to get those in-depth talks before you sign a contract.”
  • Today, clubs tend to build a detailed football strategy, backed up by a team of specialists recruited for the long-term. Head coaches can then more easily be replaced when results are poor. Ross likes the new model – but says it comes with a risk.
  • Why it matters: Several professional owners with longer-term mindsets have come into European football. But managers and head coaches are still given very little time to build a team and get results right. Why?
  • The perspective: In this series, we will focus on corporate governance – or the lack of – in European football. Do clubs have proper structures in place with clarity about the responsibilities of the chair, CEO, sporting director, manager and head coach.

“My experiences are very different. I guess I have tried different sort of structures and different ways of doing things. At my first job as manager at Alloa Athletic FC in Scotland we played in front of a crowd of 500. At Sunderland, around 30,000-plus fans came to the Stadium of Light, so the pressure was also very different. And that is when you get to see what people are really like, when the pressure increases.”

Jack Ross

Do you want to read this article?

Get instant access by signing up for a 7-day free trial

No credit card, no commitments, and it will expire automatically.

You will receive a link that activates your trial in an email.