The hunt for red October (no, that doesn’t work, does it?)

“A committee is like an animal with four back legs” – George Smiley, quoting Spymaster Karla, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carre

Nevertheless, a 5 man “find the next Fulham manager” committee is what we have. Shahid Khan has noticed that post Hodgson we’ve made a series of poor decisions and now intends to do things differently. Well done him.

There’s a fan on board, one David Daly, but not just any fan. Daly is a senior director at Nike.

Huw Jennings is included, which is good and acknowledgement of what’s most important for this club for the next few seasons.

Brian McBride has always seemed like a nice man. I’m not clear what Brian will be bringing to the table, which sounds a lot harsher than it’s meant to. Another perspective probably, which is fine. McBride’s a bright man and probably a sensible addition here.

Danny Murphy is very bright and clearly ‘gets’ Fulham. My reading of him is that he’s quite conservative in his footballing beliefs and would be the kind to advocate a British manager where possible, but I have nothing to base this on. He would be well connected within the game and could ‘sound out’ possible candidates on the grapevine.

Niall Quinn seems like a footballing good egg and has been in the dressing room and the boardroom, and, let’s face it, seen some good examples of how these things can go wrong while at Sunderland.

Will these five wise men come up with an answer to Fulham’s woes? Maybe, maybe not, but Khan earns points for at least going about all this in a transparant and outwardly sensible fashion. The alternative could have left him open to various unwanted accusations, so choosing a team of respected (which they all are, more or less) experts to lead the process makes every sense.

Unless I’m misreading the situation it’s not lovely for the CEO, but I think we were sort of getting that.

Me, I hope Kit Symons gets a bit longer. Amid all the excitement is the simple fact that under him we’ve shown capabilities of winning football matches, and if we haven’t quite resembled Brazil 1970 yet, then perhaps it’s not that easy to turn around a team that’s been mistreated so. My preference would be for Kit to keep the job until such a point as he proves he isn’t up to it, at which point the league of extraordinary gentlemen step in with their dossier of possibilities and we recruit based on that.

But we’ll see, eh?

11 thoughts on “The hunt for red October (no, that doesn’t work, does it?)

  1. All very interesting. A first for this club, certainly (at least I think), but wonder if anyone can think of any other club ever being this transparent about the process before?

    And Danny being on the committee presumably means that he is now officially out of the running. Not that he ever was, but there has been a fan base clamouring for him.

    There are clearly some Kit fans/friends in there so I think your hope that he stays until he fails is likely to be the case. (Which is the position for any football manager anyway – except on failure Kit until he is confirmed as permanent won’t get a payout.) The committee will in the meantime come up with a Plan B (or is it C, D, or Z).

    Bye Bye Ali Mac?

  2. It might be a way of smoking out unlikely candidates. Guys in a job or someone like David Moyes. Between them they will know and have access to everybody.

    It has to be a process taking at least a few weeks and Kit’s chances rise or fall with results. You’d think he has friends on that committe or at least people who know him well which might not be the same thing.

  3. “Brian McBride has always seemed like a nice man. I’m not clear what Brian will be bringing to the table, which sounds a lot harsher than it’s meant to. Another perspective probably, which is fine. McBride’s a bright man and probably a sensible addition here.

    Danny Murphy is very bright and clearly ‘gets’ Fulham. My reading of him is that he’s quite conservative in his footballing beliefs and would be the kind to advocate a British manager where possible, but I have nothing to base this on. He would be well connected within the game and could ‘sound out’ possible candidates on the grapevine.”

    Other than the fact that Murphy is English and more of a self-promoter than McBride, I’m not sure why Murphy is described so positively and McBride as “not clear what [he] will be bringing to the table.” Does McBride not “get” Fulham like Murphy does? He played for Fulham for almost as long, was also captain, also scored some big goals, also was viewed overwhelmingly positively by the supporters.

    I don’t know that I necessarily get the impression that this means doom and gloom for Mackintosh; it looks to me as more of an affirmation that the sporting side of things is separate from the business side of things, like the business/editorial division in publishing. But I certainly could be wrong.

    1. Murphy more articulate, McBride more of a warrior leader type.

      Murphy highly respected pundit who has quickly become one of the 2-3 most astute analysers on tv coverage. I like McBride but have no sense of his depth of footballing iq.

      Murphy worked for a long time unde Roy, learned the game under Dario Gradi one of the most respected developers of youth talent. Played at liverpool for a long time. Etc.

      Nothing against McBride.

      1. If you are able, watch any match McBride provides color commentary on & you’ll quickly be impressed with his football acumen. He works on Europa League & Champion’s League matches for Fox & Fox Soccer here in the States.

    2. I see the Mackintosh situation as you do Josh. This gives him some breathing room to concentrate on what he’s good at. We should remember that, despite running two clubs, his background is accountancy and financial management and not football. While they will surely have the final say (the heirarchy probably goes Makintosh to Lamping to Khan), neither Khan, nor Lamping, nor Makintosh are the right people to actually choose who to hire. So the committee makes a recommendation and the top-brass decide whether to go along with it. Isn’t this how it works (or should work) outside of football, with the people at the top deferring to experts? Certainly true in my line of work.

      By the way, best thing about this committee is Huw Jennings being put on it. If that doesn’t affirm the central place that the club’s youth programme has in our future, I do not know what else can.

  4. I can see where Rich is coming from as I was wondering if Mcbride is still very intimately connected with a English football but can’t do any harm and may help to broaden the search. I hope Khan also has a think about the current hoard make up and gets some football nouse and perhaps a fan advocate on there …

  5. A committee is a very ‘Australian Rules Football’ thing to do (bring in a bunch of ‘experts’ who may or may not be part of the club) – and has been more successful than not. Normally they get a short list and they get the potential manager to present his ideas about football philosophy, plans, directions, expectations etc. That way there are no surprises (or blocks of cheese). It is not an indictment on the CEO, it is called delegating. In Aussie Rules, the clubs are not owned by a single person, but are more like a public company – which probably explains the different style.

    One of the things it seems to do is make everybody feel included so the new manager does not have to come in and ‘win’ everybody over as ‘everybody’ helped chose him.

  6. I might be jumping to conclusions but these 5 look very much to me the future of Fulham:

    Daly CEO in charge of business affairs
    Quinn Technical director dealing with football transfers etc.
    Murphy 1st team coach to new manager
    Jennings Youth
    McBride American ambassador

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