Monday, February 19, 2007

Dowie Sent To Coventry

Iain Dowie's break from football has lasted only 100 days following his installment as Coventry City manager this morning. The honesty and self-deprecating humour exhibited in his press conference, allied with some complimentary comments about Charlton, should remind us that whilst he has perhaps returned to his appropriate managerial 'level', he is a good man who deserves to be successful elsewhere.

It was curious to note the similarities between the comments of Paul Fletcher (Coventry managing director) and those of Richard Murray just nine months ago:

""Iain was incredibly impressive on the occasions we met and there is no doubt that he was by far the strongest candidate in all of the criteria we set." (Fletcher)

"We interviewed over 20 candidates and I can assure you Iain Dowie was the most impressive of those candidates." (Murray)

Perhaps if things don't work out for Dowie at the Ricoh Arena, he might want to consider penning a guide to job-hunters about successful interview techniques . In the meantime, with Coventry's central location within just a few miles of four different motorways (M1, M6, M45, M69) he will have no shortage of opportunities to give his players the 'hard shoulder' and send them on his alleged roadside training runs.

Now that Dowie has found gainful employment again, it is maybe an opportune time to revisit some of the ill-understood aspects of his appointment and dismissal. Admittedly at most clubs the relationship between Board and fans is managed at best in a spirit of obfuscation and disdain, but Charlton have been refreshingly progressive in this regard in recent times.

The welcome arrival of Alan Pardew distracted the irate fans, and in turn let our Board off the hook as the references to 'head coach' were subtly removed, signalling the end of the very structure that they had previously been at such pains to promote. It is worth recalling that the day after Dowie left the club, Peter Varney initially stressed the failure of Dowie to work within the above structure as a key factor in the Board's decision.

In truth, I'd imagine the Board simply wanted rid of Dowie asap having acknowledged their mistake in appointing him, but preferred to blame his refusal to work within the structure, rather than concede to the media (and some fans, including me) that they had acted with uncharacteristic haste in light of poor results. More recently however, Varney has gone on to imply that there were actually some hitherto undisclosed aspects of Dowie's tenure that obliged the Board to act (regardless of the workings of the structure or results), but that they cannot discuss them publicly.

Yet assuming that Coventry contacted Charlton for a detailed reference on Dowie (though nothing surprises me in football anymore), then whatever those pre-dismissal circumstances were, they were not shocking enough to prevent him finding a fast route back into management. And more intriguingly if the structure has since disappeared alongwith Dowie (and Reed), and if Pards is now clearly the 'manager', then where does the already murky role of Andrew Mills (General Manager - Football) now fit in?

With regard to some of these questions, and thanks to the passage of a suitable amount of time, I will knowingly paraphrase Private Eye and declare, "I think we should be told."


At 1:35 PM, Blogger Chicago Addick said...

Mills has gone!

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous newyorkaddick said...

I didn't see that one coming. Guess we'll never know what the point of the 'faceless wonder' was.

At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Nug said...

Not so faceless now he's gone eh? Check out the official site to see the man in question.

At 6:57 PM, Blogger Chicago Addick said...

Funny how they now show a photo of him isn't it?

At 7:13 PM, Anonymous newyorkaddick said...

Assuming that was the only photo they had, I'd also have waited until he'd gone to reveal he wears light grey suits with white ties.

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