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Next Manager?

Discussion in 'Classic Threads' started by StephenH, 29 Jan 2021.

  1. Modric THFC

    Modric THFC Christian Ziege

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    Not sure if this has been posted on the control Mendes has over this clients.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/28/sports/soccer/jorge-mendes-gattuso-fiorentina.html

    The Coach Wanted the Job. His Agent Wanted More.
    Tariq Panja


    Rocco Commisso was hoping this appointment would be the one.

    After a bumpy first 18 months as the owner of the Italian soccer team Fiorentina, Commisso had finally alighted on a coach that he believed would give flight to his project.

    The coach, Gennaro Gattuso, would be the fifth employed by Commisso since he bought Fiorentina in 2019. But this hire would be different, Commisso told the team’s website when he announced it in May. Gattuso would bring determination, competence and desire to the club. He would bring respectability. He would bring victories.

    Fans of the Florence-based team never got to see what Gattuso would have brought, though. On June 17, only 23 days after he was hired, Gattuso was gone. A two-sentence statement posted on the same Fiorentina website where Commisso had welcomed Gattuso with ebullient praise now tersely announced that the coach and the club had agreed to part company.

    The split — like so many between managers and clubs — was about money and control and players, according to officials with direct knowledge of the talks between the club and its now-former coach. But at the heart of Gattuso’s exit, those same people said, was Gattuso’s relationship with Jorge Mendes, the Portuguese soccer agent whose influence is now so widespread that he is widely considered to be among the most powerful figures in sports.

    The details of Gattuso’s brief stay are shrouded by nondisclosure agreements signed by both the coach and the club. But at Fiorentina, insiders said, acrimony had flared almost as soon as he arrived.

    Within days of taking charge, Gattuso, who had most recently coached Milan and Napoli, provided the club’s management with a list of three major transfer targets. Two of the players are, like Gattuso, represented by Mendes. But all three also currently play for clubs that rely on Mendes to get them the best prices for the players they wish to offload.

    Those apparent conflicts immediately alarmed Fiorentina officials, and in particular the team’s American owners, whose previous experiences in the transfer market had left them wary of the influence of agents on their club’s business.

    Two of the players, Sérgio Oliveira, 29, and Jesús Corona, 28, currently play for Portugal’s F.C. Porto. (Gonçalo Guedes of Spain’s Valencia was the third.) Both could be acquired, though, Fiorentina was told, if the club paid a fee of 20 million euros (about $23.8 million) for each player and then agreed to meet the salary demands — 3 million euros (about $3.5 million) per year — in the five-year contracts that Mendes, who was brokering the deal, said they required.

    For Fiorentina, the figures made little sense. The coronavirus pandemic has sent the finances of hundreds of European clubs into crisis, and left many, including Porto, desperate to balance their budgets by selling off talent. Most clubs agree, though, that paying premium prices for players approaching their 30s in an uncertain market makes little business sense.

    Fiorentina executives tried to persuade Gattuso, according to the people familiar with the discussions, that other, younger targets were available. But the coach is said to have stood by his list.

    So Fiorentina started negotiating with Porto for Oliveira, hoping to strike a deal for a figure closer to its valuation of the player, which was about half the initial asking price. An emissary sent to Portugal for discussions called executives back in Italy to say the Portuguese team would not be moved.

    Mendes spoke with Fiorentina officials to say the same, although he tried to broker an accommodation: He told Fiorentina he was willing to accept less than his usual commission from the buying team, according to one of the people involved in the negotiations. (It is not uncommon for soccer agents to be paid by all parties in deals they arrange, a practice that FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, has suggested should be outlawed.)

    Representatives of Mendes, Gattuso (through Mendes’s company, Gestifute), Fiorentina and Porto declined to comment on any of the discussions. But the talks quickly signaled the end of the nascent relationship between Gattuso and Fiorentina.

    Informed that the team was no longer prepared to negotiate for any of the three players on Gattuso’s list because of their links to Mendes, the coach informed Fiorentina that he no longer felt wanted. The sides negotiated his exit before he had met the players. All that remains from his 23-day tenure is bad blood and hard questions.

    For Commisso, the episode represented another failure in the eyes of Fiorentina fans angry about Commisso’s inability to build a team to compete with rivals in the higher reaches of Italy’s top division, Serie A, or to follow through on promises to modernize the club’s Artemio Franchi stadium.

    The owners, meanwhile, are bewildered by the criticism, which they contend fails to acknowledge their achievements. Fiorentina broke its transfer record shortly after separating from Gattuso by signing the 23-year-old Argentine forward Nicolas González, for example, and Serie A’s management recently credited Commisso, a telecommunications billionaire, with helping broker its new television contract in the United States.

    For Mendes, the events in Florence were a rare setback. His rise from small-market player to market maker can be traced to 2004, when he brought his client José Mourinho to Chelsea and helped him stock the London team with a clutch of players from his stable.

    As Mendes’s reputation grew — Mendes has also guided the career of Cristiano Ronaldo — so did his reach. Chinese soccer, for instance, turned to Mendes for counsel and players when it wanted to improve its top league. One Chinese conglomerate, Fosun International, was so impressed with his work that it bought a stake in Mendes’s agency, Gestifute.

    That relationship deepened when Fosun bought the English team Wolverhampton Wanderers. A group of Mendes players acquired to bolster the roster helped the team win promotion to the Premier League, and newer, costlier additions have allowed it to maintain that status. When the team parted ways with the Mendes client who had overseen its rise, Nuno Espírito Santo, his replacement, Bruno Lage, was another Portuguese coach handpicked by the agent.

    Wolves even played a minor role in the events in Florence. Fiorentina had not yet signed its contract with Gattuso, and Wolves had not yet announced Lage as its coach, when Mendes indicated that Gattuso was also an option he had in mind for the Premier League team.

    Mendes told Fiorentina he wanted to insert a 2 million euro buyout clause in Gattuso’s contract, a fee that could be paid at any time and would allow him to move on should a better coaching offer emerge. Fiorentina balked, saying it did not make sense to commit millions of dollars for players signed to suit Gattuso’s playing style if it was at risk of losing him at any time for such a low fee. A compromise figure of 10 million euros was agreed upon, but the contract was never signed.

    For soccer, it is the kind of influence Mendes wields that raised the thorniest questions. FIFA is in the process of reforming its regulations amid growing unease within the game about the power of a handful of agents. As well as caps on commissions, the new rules seek to bar agents from representing the interests of a player, a selling club and a buying one in the same negotiation, the kind of arrangement that has become commonplace in a typical Mendes deal.

    “Conflicts of interest have to be eliminated,” said Pippo Russo, the author of a book on Mendes’s career. “It is not possible an agent can represent all the parts involved in the bargaining.”

    For now, though, Mendes’s power appears unlimited. The most recent evidence came at this season’s Champions League final, where pandemic restrictions meant that the capacity for fans at Porto’s Estádio do Dragão, which hosted the game, was strictly limited, and that the number of invited dignitaries and guests was even smaller.

    The rules applied to both teams, but not, apparently, to everyone. On the day of the final, some top executives at European soccer’s governing body expressed surprise when they arrived in the presidential suite, an area reserved for a handful of the most important invited guests, to find an unexpected visitor: Mendes.
     
  2. DaveT316

    DaveT316 Clive Wilson

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    Lidl chance of that…
     
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  3. Finney Is Back

    Finney Is Back Paul Walsh

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    I think Nuno is an acceptable manager for us to employ. It does indicate that Levy's comments about Spurs DNA were just the soundbites that most of us thought they were anyway but that's by the by really. Nuno seems to be a pretty capable coach who has experience in multiple leagues who's players enjoy playing for him. Hopefully the reports are correct and this will be finalised in the next few days. That will allow the manager to be in place for the first day of pre-season and him and Paratici to start getting aligned on buys and sells.
     
  4. DaveT316

    DaveT316 Clive Wilson

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    I remember thinking the season they came up I’d love him to be our manager one day, so I’ll give him a fair crack of the whip if this reaches its journey’s end.

    I do share misgivings around Mendes’ potential growing influence on the club, but let’s be honest, all clubs use agents now, to a greater or lesser extent. If he can help shift the deadwood, as well as bring in a Neto or two, that’s a bonus I wasn’t expecting and one that I’m all for!
     
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  5. Modric THFC

    Modric THFC Christian Ziege

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    He would be fine if he didnt come attached to Mendes.
    But the reality is the only reason he has got the job is that our club is now enamored to Mendes.
    Same reason we went for Gattuso.

    The idea was we would get a DOF in and get him to appoint a manager and bring in player based on his football knowledge.
    Instead we are getting a DOF in with links to Mendes and are appointing Nuno, Mendes first ever client as manager. And we will be bringing in players recommended by Mendes.
     
  6. P.D.

    P.D. Vedran Corluka

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    Any new manager gets my backing but I just can't get excited about him, I'd describe Wolves as boring but effective and nothing like the DNA chattter Levy was giving.

    I think we need to admit that whoever the club wanted they've failed, it's been over 2 months since Jose left and I doubt Nuno was in the top 5 candidates, maybe not even the top 10. I hope Levy has learnt from this - what a falldown from a champions league final only 2 years ago.
     
  7. Dicko

    Dicko Clint Dempsey

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    I have seen links to about 20 different players already today.. Some even say 99% done. Things are starting to heat up lol!
     
  8. Yiddo

    Yiddo Frederic Kanoute

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    Nuno is a stop gap. Poch will be our following manager.
     
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  9. Finney Is Back

    Finney Is Back Paul Walsh

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    Yes I think it is pretty clear that Nuno was some way down our list of manager targets but we are where we are and getting Nuno in now before the start of pre-season is better than us being rudderless going into that.
     
    DaveT316 likes this.
  10. JerusalemMan

    JerusalemMan Alf Ramsey

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  11. Aldo

    Aldo Jose Dominguez

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    Mendes would be our DoF in all but name.
     
  12. JerusalemMan

    JerusalemMan Alf Ramsey

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    An honest question, do you know how Nuno got teams other than Wolves to play? What their style was like?
    I don't so am eager for informed comment.
     
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  13. Lilbaz

    Lilbaz Neil Ruddock

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    No paratici will be our dof and in charge of transfers. Not mendes and not nuno.
     
  14. Gutter Boy

    Gutter Boy Tim Sherwood

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    Why get another low block anti-football coach though? Fonseca or similar would at least have got us back on the front foot and passing again
     
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  15. Dicko

    Dicko Clint Dempsey

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    I'm seeing links to good players all over Twitter and getting exciting again, Even Nuno could be able to freshen things up

    PS Even Winks to Villa.. maybe our new DOF does know what he's doing!
     
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  16. Bedfordspurs

    Bedfordspurs Mel Hopkins

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    It was 4-2-3-1 at Valencia
    Can’t comment at Porto
    At wolves it was very low block counter though

    But it’s possible with better players he will give them a way to play that suits them

    he has never had players of the calibre we have so who knows
     
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  17. milo

    milo Paul Miller Staff Member

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  18. BrainOfLevy

    BrainOfLevy Michael Carrick

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    On the Mendes thing - is it actually maybe a necessary thing for us to be in bed with someone so well connected?

    We can’t compete on finances, so we need to find a more creative way. At the time we got Doherty, he was likely worth a fair bit more than what we paid for him. It had Mendes all over it. Might it be a good thing for us?
     
  19. Gutter Boy

    Gutter Boy Tim Sherwood

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    Paying obscene amounts for crap young Portuguese players. And being forced to sell anyone good cheap up the food chain. Most money being trousered off in agent fees, rather than to clubs.

    It's not a creative or cheap way to operate. It's simple laundering and corruption
     
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  20. Lilbaz

    Lilbaz Neil Ruddock

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    Why would paratici spend obscene amounts for crap young portugese players? Sounds a very good way to get sacked. Where does he go from there? Teams will know he would be paying over the odds for crap players they wont hire him. It would probably destroy his career.
     
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