Football clubs that appoint directors of football could leave themselves open to potential legal claims brought by team managers.
John Barnwell, chief executive of the League Managers’ Association, recently highlighted the increasing risk of breach of contract claims.
Richard Lang, a solicitor in the employment team at law firm Olswang, said: “Football clubs are no different from other employers, and are free to run the business in the manner they see fit. If the new director of football is given responsibilities that previously lay with the manager – for example, buying and selling players – then this may give rise to a breach of contract claim against the club.”
What is clear is that the appointment of a director of football can cause internal friction, as in the recent cases of Premiership bosses Jacques Santini and Harry Redknapp, although both stated their resignations were for ‘personal reasons’.