Similarities and Differences between Chelsea and American Football
The effective functioning of any organization cannot be achieved if members or its parts do everything what an organization is achieving or when all members or a part of them are doing the same. Therefore, in any organization, there is a division of labor among its members or parts.
Current paper will address duties of almost all people entering the game and financial departments of football clubs Chelsea in England and DC United, which is a typical representative of the American Football in the USA.
Chelsea and D. C. United
American Football is a team sport, which is played with hands. The aim of this game boils down to what a need to advance the ball into a special area on the side of the enemy, which is usually a finite area or point. There is a feature of the game, in contrast to the European football, that a winner is the team that scores the most points and does not score goals in the gate. Points during a half on the field can be dialed in two different ways: the first one is getting the ball to a special area of the opponent; the second way is a goal scored in the gate and the need to get the ball just over the crossbar.
The key elements of football, without which any game cannot pass, are the following: field of a certain size, two competing teams, the number of which shall be equal to 11 people, and a ball. The game begins with the draw, the team that wins during distribution will go first: the two teams are located opposite each other and one of them kicks the ball towards the opponent’s side of the field.
The management structure of FC “Chelsea” and the American professional club is approximately the same as in the club management of team sports. There is a numerical composition of the team football players in the amount of 45-47. The total size of the team, along with administrative and support staff, is generally from 70 to 100 people.
Both football clubs have a linear-functional structure.
Chairman is a President of the football club, Chief Executive Officer, and the controlling shareholder. Many years ago, “Chelsea” was headed by Ken Bates. However, in 2004 he was succeeded by the current president Bruce Buck.
Actually, football clubs in England can be divided into two categories: PLC (Public Limited Company) and non-PLC. In non-PLC-clubs, there is usually a large number of shareholders and the Chairman is not a controlling shareholder. Typically, non-PLC clubs are rather poor lower league clubs. In the PLC-clubs, there is a small number of shareholders and a controlling stake belongs to the Chairman. “Chelsea” is a PLC-club.
However, despite this, the range of Chairman’s duties is very narrow. The person who knows little about English football may consider it to be a little strange that the Chairman manages rarely and only when necessary and when he deems it necessary to intervene. Despite this, the Chairman controls everything that happens in the football club.
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He has, however, at least one important duty: if the club is for some reason left without a head coach, negotiations with experts considered as candidates for the role of a new head coach are led by the Chairman. Besides, the football club has a Deputy Chairman, but it is not called the Vice-Chairman, but a Life Vice-President (Chelsea FC, n.d.).
On January 8, 2007, rights for the “DC United” were sold to the “DC United Holdings,” a newly formed group of companies, which included the developer Victor MacFarlane, founder of “MacFarlane Partners,” and William Chang, chairman of the “Westlake InternationalGroup”. Among other investors, there is a president of the “DC United” Kevin Payne and “Blue Devil Development” headed by a former basketball player from the “Duke Blue Devils” Brian Davis and Christian Lettnerom. In April 2009, after the failure of two proposals for stadiums, Victor MacFarlane sold his stake in the team to his partner William Chang (Argeris & Nagel, 2014). In October 2009, Chang also bought shares of Davis and Lettnera and is now in full control of the team. Chang is also one of the main investors in the club’s Major League Baseball “San Francisco Giants.” In July 2012, Eric Tohir and Jason Levine, minority partners in the shares of the NBA “Philadelphia Seventy Siksters”, joined the group of owners of the club. Levin and Tohir said that their main goal was to create a global brand “United” and provide for a club football stadium (MLS, 2011).
Managing Director is one of the key decision makers of the football club, which, in fact, is the chief accountant. His/her mission is to manage all financial flows. It is not responsible for football as such. There is no Managing Director in the DC United. There are two people with the same responsibilities:
- Senior Advisor for Stadium Development and Operations – Troy Scott.
- Chief Revenue Officer – Mike Schoenbrun.
A crucial role in the football club is played by General Manager. His responsibilities are quite broad because this person is engaged with finance and football. With regard to finance, the General Manager is responsible for the financial part of the selection (i.e. financial flows are proceeds from the sale or purchase costs of any player) and for the payment of salaries to players. In football terms, the General Manager is responsible for the so-called game of the selection, i.e. negotiations with players. Thus, this person is responsible for conclusion, termination, or extension of contracts. Dave Kasper is a General Manager of the DC United and Jos? Mourinho occupies this position in Chelsea.
Director of Football
Chief Operating Officer fulfills functions of the Director of Football in the D. C. United (Tom Hunt). Even from the title of this post, it is obvious that the task of the person holding it is not related to finance. Director of Football is obliged to monitor the status of the player’s contract (Bridgewater, n.d.). In this regard, it is the right hand of the General Manager who does not follow existing contracts. It is also Director of Football and not someone else who, if necessary, is engaged in “clandestine affairs”, i.e. bribery of arbitrators or the negotiation of a contractual match. The Managing Director is responsible for these financial affairs.
Duties and responsibilities of the head coach cannot be overestimated. Almost everything depends on this person. The head coach leads the football club in short-term and long-term goals. The head coach is responsible for the tactical game, the starting lineup of the team, replacing of players during the match, conduct of training of the basic structure, as well as playing a crucial role in the selection. If the Chief Scout brings a new player to be viewed by the club, it is the head coach who evaluates his ability and if he then wants to see this player in the team, he will sit down at the negotiating table with the General Manager. The head coach of “Chelsea” is a Portuguese expert Andr? Villas-Boas now. The head coach of the D. C. United is Ben Olsen (Goff, 2009).
Both football clubs have Assistant Coaches. Chad Ashton represents D. C. United. In the football club “Chelsea”, the head coach is assisted by two assistants. These assistants have different responsibilities.
The First Assistant Coach conducts training with the head coach. The First Assistant Coach is the deputy head coach. If the Head Coach for some reason cannot do his job, the First Assistant Coach performs his duties. Moreover, if the Head Coach resigns as a result of dismissal or resignation, it is usually the First Assistant Coach who starts acting as the head coach.
The Second Assistant Coach oversees usually just individual components responsible for the training. That is, for example, while the head coach, along with his first assistant are holding “reverse” (a training match when players are divided into two teams and play against each other), the Second Assistant Coach at the request of the head coach fulfills the standard position (a corner, break through penalty, etc.) with those players that the latter has pointed out.
Reserve Team Coach
A Reserve Team Coach is the second coach of the club, i.e. a coach of players in the reserve.
A Goalkeeping Coach is a special person who is preparing goalkeepers. Just as the Second Assistant Coach oversees individual components of the game with a particular player, the Goalkeeping Coach prepares goalies with special exercises. It must be noted that this position in the club is usually taken by a man no older than 50 years old who was himself a goalkeeper in the past.
Physion & Fitness Coach
Both men in the club are always doctors by profession. However, they have different functions. Physion is the main team doctor; his task is utterly clear: to treat or assist any player in case of illness or injury. Fitness Coach is also a doctor, but he is not engaged in treatment. His task is to monitor physical preparation of players.
A Chief Scout is a very important position in the football club. The objective of this person is a search for new players for the club around the world. It is not an exaggeration. The Chief Scout travels literally around the world, attending football matches and international championships; if any player attracts interest, he will report it to the head coach. The Head Coach then invites that player to view him and if the team is interested in this player and the coach wants to see this player in the team, the latter can sit down at the negotiating table with the General Manager.
Typically, the Chief Scout has two or three assistants, i.e. the rest of the club scouts.
If football clubs are considered as an organization, then there are four broad functional blocks:
- Stadium. The stadium, in fact, can be considered as a separate entity, which is the property of the football club. The stadium as an organization includes numerous staff members: leadership headed by the director of the stadium, lawnmower, cleaners, sellers of beer, etc.
- Game Department. This block includes the whole game and the coaching staff, doctors, scouts, etc. Currently, there is the gaming department of about 50 people in the clubs under analysis.
- Finance Department. The Finance Department, of course, includes all people involved in finance from the Managing Director to the Assistant Accountant.
- Junior School. Functions of this unit are obvious from its name. It includes a youth team, its coaches, and doctors. This unit is generally not necessary and not every football club has a youth school.
Thus, from all described and analyzed above, it can be concluded that both football clubs are well-organized systems that have literally everything needed, including finance, stellar sets of players, junior school, etc. These organizations consist of many parts, coordinating their activities. Existence is impossible without constraints and actual interaction of the organization’s parts. Communication is an element that determines the ability to communicate. Links between parts of the organizations are carried out through the channels of communication. Chelsea and D. C. United are excellent examples of the clubs’ management teams.