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Football, Leadership

Whose fault is it anyway?

I read this piece a couple of months ago about the statement released by the former Groupon CEO, Andrew Mason, when he was given the heave-ho by his ex-employer.

“People of Groupon,
After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable….”

What a statement!

None of this wishy washy nonsense about a “mutual parting of ways” which everyone knows does not exist anyway.

No fictitious message about how he was “leaving for personal reasons” or “to spend more time with the family”.

Mr Mason mentioned something that a lot of leaders fail to acknowledge – the fact that one person is accountable at the end of the day, and that person is usually the CEO or head honcho.

Now wouldn’t it be refreshing if the same principle could be introduced to the post match interviews and we could have similar honesty from the team captains and coaches of various team sports like football and rugby. One of football’s greatest managers and tacticians, Alex Ferguson, is also renowned for his excuses for his team’s losses. Tennis and golf, which are mainly individual pursuits, already have a certain level of honesty as it’s difficult to blame anybody else for your shortcomings in the event of a loss.

When an England football team bows out of yet another major tournament or fails to qualify for said tournament, these are some of the familiar platitudes/excuses that are rolled out (from Euro 2012 after England lost to Italy on penalties)

“We stuck to our guns right until the end and the players should be very proud of what they did.”

“There were some heroic performances not only tonight but also in the previous three games.”

“We have lost and we have gone out without losing a game with our heads held high.”

Instead of the above, it would be nice to hear Sir Roy of Hodgson deliver something along these lines at a post match interview “I would like to take full responsibility for our elimination at this tournament. I believe the players followed my instructions but I was tactically outmanoeuvered by my opposition colleague here. I failed to provide an adequate response during the game, and that’s why we lost and are now boarding the next plane home”

You have been given the template managers, coaches and team captains. Now let’s Groupon those post match press conferences!


About Ticha Pfupajena

I'm beginning to get the sense that my career as a professional footballer may not happen. As a result, I'll try write about football and sports instead....


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Ticha Pfupajena

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