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In association football, a manager is an occupation of head coach in the United Kingdom responsible for running a football club or a national team. Outside the British Isles and across most of Europe, a title of head coach or coach is predominant.
The manager's responsibilities in a professional football club usually include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Selecting the team of players for matches, and their formation.
- Planning the strategy, and instructing the players on the pitch.
- Motivating players before and during a match.
- Delegating duties to the first team coach and the coaching and medical staff.
- Scouting for young but talented players for eventual training in the youth academy or the reserves, and encouraging their development and improvement.
- Buying and selling players in the transfer market, including loans.
- Facing the media in pre-match and post-match interviews.
Additionally, depending on the club, some minor responsibilities include:
- Marketing the club, most especially for ticket admission, sponsorship and merchandising.
- Growing turnover and keeping the club profitable.
These responsibilities are more common among managers of small clubs.
The wishes of a national team manager may sometimes conflict with those of a club manager over selection of club players for the national squad; the club manager may not wish the player to miss domestic fixtures. For this reason, in many cases, national football team managers are selected from current club team managers and also in many cases, they select the players of their clubs.
European and North American managers
The title of manager is almost exclusively used in British football. In the majority of countries where 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, Bobby Robson was referred to as the manager of England, while Joachim Löw was described as the head coach of Germany (Germany also has a team manager role that is subordinate to the head coach and that is filled by Oliver Bierhoff). For 1994-96 including Euro 96, however, The Football Association struggled to identify an alternative candidate to Terry Venables, so their discomfort with his soiled reputation for probity was articulated in their appointment of him as England 'coach' rather than under the traditional title of 'manager'.
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 soccer is usually an assistant to the manager who actually holds the real power, the American-style general manager and head coach have clearly distinct areas of responsibilities. For example, a typical European football manager would have the final say on in-game decisions (including player line-ups), and off-the-field and roster management decisions (including contract negotiations). In American sports, these duties would be handled separately by the head coach and general manager, respectively.
- List of football managers with most games
- Caretaker manager
- League Managers Association for managers in England
- List of managers and coaches who have qualified for the UEFA Pro Licence