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Nov 20, 2012

European managers call for change

Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti are among a number of top European mangers who are calling for radical changes in the game, a League Managers' Association (LMA) survey has revealed.

A referees' academy to improve standards, greater clarification of the handball rule, the abolition of the transfer windows, widespread use of new technology for major decisions and other refereeing issues dominate the survey findings.

The managerial sackings and instability from owners is also a major topic for managers clearly upset that they do not have a voice of any power for change within the game, including Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho.

"It is vital for the future of football that the combined views and opinions of managers are collected and listened to," Mourinho said. "This LMA Survey is so important because it deals with the issues that affect managers each and every day, from rules and regulations, to technology, transfers and finances.

"It brings together managers and coaches across Europe, demonstrating the subjects we feel strongly about and provides real insights from managers based on our combined experience.

"The results of the survey should be used to benefit and help shape the overall development and progress of football."

Paris Saint-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti believes the survey should be a catalyst for greater communication between managers and their respective associations.

"It is fantastic that the LMA are canvassing the views of managers and coaches across Europe for the good of the game," he said. "Football is a truly international game and issues do not stop at country borders.

"It is vital that there is open dialogue in the game for it to progress and I, along with the managers and coaches across Europe, are always open to the opportunity to come together to discuss and debate matters like leadership, management and the many technical issues in the game."

The League Managers' Association published the LMA European Managers and Coaches Survey, developed to collate and better understand the collective views of managers and coaches from 19 different nationalities across Europe.

The key points and outcomes from the results of the survey are as follows:

- Respondents identified a professional referee training academy as the main factor that could help improve the standards of refereeing. They also said that refereeing was the main area that could help improve the overall standard of the game
- 83% of respondents considered that the handball rule requires further clarification
- 65% of respondents deemed the 'denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity'(DOGSO) triple jeopardy law (penalty, sending off, suspension) as unfair
- 69% of respondents opposed the current dates for the transfer window
- 72% of respondents are in favour of a reduction in international friendlies
- 62% of respondents support the introduction of not just goal line but also video technology with 63% deeming that football should consider using a decision referral system where referees themselves should have the authority to clarify certain match incidents
- 'Results' was identified by respondents as the main pressure for a modern day manager
- Respondents identified 'respect' as their main value
- 72% of respondents are obsessed by the game with 59% admitting it is also difficult to lead a balanced lifestyle
- 60% of respondents maintained that the national team manager should not be a foreign national
- 88% of respondents are in favour of mandatory qualifications
- 69% of respondents opposed the current dates for the transfer window, with an open window being the preferred option
- 94% of respondents would consider working in another country with the USA being identified as the destination of choice
- 61% of respondents felt that there should be a salary cap
- 74% of respondents judged that the current agent regulations are insufficient
- 56% of respondents oppose the idea of a winter break
- 72% of respondents are in favour of a reduction in international friendlies
- 73% of respondents are against the idea of clubs playing league fixtures in overseas territories

In addition, the managers and coaches felt the fourth official idea has failed and 72% of respondents acknowledged that there should there be increased sanctions for offences and unsporting behaviour that occurs during a game, but are only identified afterwards .

The Report highlighted that "there are a number of pressures that impact upon the modern day manager". The top two which received the most votes in terms of the greatest pressures on the modern day manager were 'results' and 'club owners'.

This finding is borne out by the managerial statistics for the 2011/12 season where there were a total of 49 managerial changes across the four leagues. An analysis of these changes reveals that 33 would appear to be down to results or a change of ownership/change of heart from the owners or the board.

The resulting impact of these two pressures is a short term approach by clubs where the average tenure of dismissed managers has been steadily decreasing since the inception of the Premier League. This figure currently stands at 1.7 years compared to 3.12 years in 1992.

"Conversely, statistics also demonstrate that stability within a club breeds longer term success with Sir Alex Ferguson [Manchester United], Arsene Wenger [Arsenal], David Moyes [Everton] being prime examples," the report said. "The LMA continues to support managers in their development to prepare them for the pressures of the job and will continue to communicate the importance of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed objectives to the clubs to allow their managers the opportunity to implement their vision and generate results over time."

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