Issue What are City asking the six?

As told by Michael Wood

There are six football managers being interviewed for the job of Bradford City manager which Mark Lawn hopes to have appointed around the start of May but as lists circulate as to who these names may be a more pressing question, perhaps, is what those six might say.

More to the point what the questions might be when asked. What are the Bradford City chairmen going to want to know from those who sit in front of them?

The questions that present themselves are hardly tempting. “How do you deal with having really poor training facilities, a situation that is not going to change?”, “You will not have the biggest budget in the division but it will be assumed you do, how do you cope with that?”, and of course that old chestnut “Your team wins one nil, the crowd boo, do you praise them after?”

The success of any interview process is dependent on a rigid definition of the requirements of the role and in this the Bantams come unstuck. For sure everyone knows what is wanted from as a result of the process: promotion; how to achieve that is a different matter.

Moreover how to assess if a candidate can achieve that represents something of a mystery. The question can be asked but who would answer in the negative?

Likewise the candidates cam be asked how they would approach the job’s finer points. “Will the players be required to wear suits? To enjoy coach journeying together?” None of these have proved essential indicators to job performance.

Much better would be to ask the candidates what augmentation the will have brought to City on a year on year basis. Ask the manager who wants the job in May 2011 what will have changed for the better at the club by May 2012 and if his only answer is “promotion” give him a wide berth.

The pursuit of promotion an end in itself has to end at City. The club’s long term aim seems to be set as sitting in the Championship and one promotion gained solely by gutsy performances on the field do not achieve this. That aim needs the club to start improving this like youth development and player realisation, which is to say getting the best out of the playing squad rather than allowing quality footballers like Tommy Doherty to become bit part players, making good on the investment in their services.

I’d like questions on those areas to be asked of the candidates. “How, considering the facilities, are you going to get the best out of the players?”, “How are you going to take the players we can afford and make them into players other people want to buy?”

Talk of promotion is pie in the sky. The next manager needs to arrive with some ideas of how to improve the club, not just what the results of improvement would be. The board need to make sure that the new man, the one of the six, knows that that is his remit.

Otherwise City are just Del and Roderney (sic) wishing to be millionaires next year, but just trusting to fate that they will achieve that.