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Sports Features of Saturday, 30 November 2013

Source: Sedinam Nyamordey

Who Loves Accra Hearts Of Oak More

; The Board Or The Supporters?
Football coaches are always hired and fired at the prerogative of the clubs owners. What is different in the case of Coach David Duncan? What really goes into the sacking of a coach? The first thing that comes to mind is the performance of the coach in question. But is that the only reason? Jose Mourinho parted ways with Chelsea in 2007, one of the most talked about decisions in football at the time. Mourinho who helped Chelsea annex its first premier league trophy in 50years was the supporters favourite and the decision did not go down well with them at all. Coach David “Mourinho” Duncan might be facing the same thing his mentor went through at Chelsea. Coach Duncan did not win the league with Hearts but his competence is not in question at all looking at where he took the Hearts team he inherited and where he is leaving them. What specifically could be the reason for his sacking? Is it to say that it takes more than delivering the results on the field of play to be a successful coach? The board is tight lipped and the media is trying with all the speculation but still no one is coming out with the exact reason why DD as he was called by the supporters was sacked. From the ways things look no one is willing to talk about it and the speculations would not stop. For the board who I respect so much to take such a decision at the time it was taken, I can only assume the circumstances were serious. Many have issues with the timing; could the situation at that time not have been managed? The more one thinks about it the more questions come to mind. This unpopular decision which still has not gone down well with majority of the supporters has the potential of breaking the club. The aggrieved supporters are very angry and disappointed because they feel let down by the board and the MD who they claim thought were on their side. One cannot fault them because most of them like many of us have been kept in the dark. In the same vain I do not expect the board to seek permission from the supporters before taking decisions they know would be in the interest of the club but the necessary communication about the decision should reach the supporter. The supporter is always and only looking forward to seeing the club they support win and do well all the time. This is the only joy that supporters get because it gives them enough happiness and the bragging rights. I can only sympathize with the supporters for feeling the way they do but I do not condone the personal attacks on the board chairman and the MD as well.
In as much as I respect the feeling of the supporters, I wonder if they have stopped to think for a minute what excites the board and the management of the club. “The directors were frustrated by the results this season and also the style of play. They wanted stylish football. They wanted football which appealed to the world and they weren’t getting it”. This is a quote from a statement issued by the board of Chelsea after the sacking of Mourinho in 2007. What exactly is my point? With the little I know about football administration, I can say that the image and the team as brand matters. Maybe the board wanted more than winning or just maybe the decision was to avert what could have exploded like a time bomb. Come to think of it who gains more if the club is performing well, the board, chaired by the majority shareholder or the supporters? The supporters cannot follow a team that has no leadership or financial backing in the same way the board cannot manage a team successfully without its supporters. The two parties need each other. The board cannot, that is, if they have acted in the way an authoritative parent would do, thinking they know what is good for the children so would decide for them whether they like it or not and the supporters on the other hand cannot behave like, that is if they have, like overly pampered children who wants their parent to do only what they want. I believe the two have to reach a common ground. I do not want to believe that the massive work that all have put in especially the MD in trying to restore the club to its former glory would be affected by the turn of events. I cannot play the ostrich by saying what has happened has not affected the club. From the look of things the page on Coach Duncan is closed and the way the club bounces back would show its true character. This is the time to show who really loves Accra Hearts of Oak, is it the board or the supporters?