Manager (association football)

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Alex Ferguson is the winner of the most English Manager of the Year awards, all won during his tenure as manager of Manchester United. He is now the UEFA coaching ambassador. Alex Ferguson 02.jpg
Alex Ferguson is the winner of the most English Manager of the Year awards, all won during his tenure as manager of Manchester United. He is now the UEFA coaching ambassador.

In association football, the manager is the person who runs a football club or a national team. They have wide-ranging responsibilities, including selecting the team, choosing the tactics, recruiting and transferring players, negotiating player contracts, and speaking to the media.


The role exists almost exclusively in the British Isles; in other regions its responsibilities are split between a head coach and a director of football.[ citation needed ] In the 21st century some British clubs adopted a similar split, but often continue to use the title of 'manager' for their head coach.

George Ramsay has been described as the world's first football manager. He managed Aston Villa from 1886 - 1926, during which time he established Villa as the most successful club in England. George Ramsay c.1905.jpg
George Ramsay has been described as the world's first football manager. He managed Aston Villa from 1886 - 1926, during which time he established Villa as the most successful club in England.


The manager's responsibilities in a professional football club usually include (but are not limited to) the following:[ citation needed ]

Some of the above responsibilities may be shared with a director of football or sporting director, and are at times delegated to an assistant manager or club coach.

Additionally, depending on the club, some minor[ citation needed ] responsibilities include:

These responsibilities are more common among managers of small clubs.

European and North American managers

The title of manager is almost exclusively used in British football. [3] In most other European countries in which professional football is played, the person responsible for the direction of a team is awarded the position of coach or "trainer". For instance, despite the general equivalence in responsibilities, Gareth Southgate is referred to as the manager of England, and Hansi Flick is described as the head coach of Germany. Germany also has a team manager role that is subordinate to the head coach and is currently[ when? ] held by Oliver Bierhoff.

The responsibilities of a European football manager or head coach tend to be divided up in North American professional sports, where the teams usually have a separate general manager and head coach (known as a field manager in baseball), although occasionally a person may fill both these roles. While the first team coach in football is usually an assistant to the manager who actually holds the real power, the North American-style general manager and head coach have clearly distinct areas of responsibilities. For example, a typical European football manager has the final say on in-game decisions (including player line-ups), and off-the-field and roster management decisions (including contract negotiations). In North American sports, those duties would be handled separately by the head coach and general manager, respectively.

See also

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  1. Saffer, Paul (21 May 2016). "The unsackables: Europe's longest-serving coaches". Union of European Football Associations. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  2. "Europe's top coaches convene in Nyon". Union of European Football Associations. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  3. "Manager or Coach?". Football Italia. 5 September 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2011.