The Role of the Professional Football Manager  book cover
1st Edition

The Role of the Professional Football Manager

ISBN 9781138369047
Published September 27, 2018 by Routledge
188 Pages

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Book Description

Considering the celebrity-like status of the professional football manager, surprisingly little is known about their role. This book provides an unprecedented insight into the chronically insecure and vulnerable world of the contemporary professional football manager. Drawing on original research, it explores the complex challenges and skills of the football manager in an increasingly cut-throat, ruthless and results-based industry.

Written by a former professional footballer, the book examines how personal contact networks and the social mobility of different actors within the industry influence various elements of the manager's role. Beginning with an overview of literature on football management, its subsequent chapters each examine a key aspect of a manager’s work, such as:

  • managerial recruitment and appointment;
  • the role of previous playing experience and formal education;
  • the assessment and recruitment of players;
  • maintaining discipline and control;
  • maintaining successful working relationships with players, coaches, agents, club directors and owners.

Shedding light on the inner workings of the football industry, this book is fascinating reading for any serious football fan and an essential resource for any student or scholar researching football, sport management or sport business.

Table of Contents


1. The History of the Professional Football Manager

2. Managerial Recruitment and Appointment

3. Previous Playing Experience and Formal Education

4. The Assessment and Recruitment of Players

5. Maintaining Discipline and Control

6. Agents

7. Directors and Owners


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Seamus Kelly is a Lecturer in, and the Director of, the Centre for Sport Studies at University College Dublin, Ireland. He previously played professional football in the English Football League (Cardiff City) and the League of Ireland (Bohemians, Longford Town, St Patricks Athletic, UCD). His research examines many aspects of professional football.