Quickly firing football coaches ‘makes no sense at all’

De Kuip
Voetbal op voetbalveld

It is a familiar phenomenon in the football world: after only a few disappointing matches, the coach is already fired. Jan van Ours, Professor of Applied Economics, can be very brief about this: “The dismissal makes no sense at all.”

Van Ours of Erasmus School of Economics did extensive research into the effect of a change of trainer. In newspaper Nederlands Dagblad he explains: “If you analyse the dismissals of trainers, you come to the conclusion that they have at most a positive short-term effect. There is often a short-lived recovery that can be attributed to psychological factors. On average, clubs do not make any gains in the longer term.”

Shock effect

Van Ours explains that a change of coach has a direct impact on the state of mind of a group of footballers in distress. A new coach has his own way of working and provides a breath of fresh air, and players cling to that. “Sometimes there is a shock effect. Players can or must prove themselves again and the whole club realises that something must be done. The board speaks out, the press interferes, and a new kind of fighting force takes possession of the team.”

However, this effect is short-lived. “Often enough the new guy does even worse than his predecessor. Or the team falls back six months later.”

More information

Read the article in het Nederlands Dagblad (in Dutch).

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