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Head of Recruitment

It has all gone quiet with regards to this key position, and the clock is ticking on getting our high earners out of the door, and bringing in the few key players than can help strengthen our squad. A couple of questions:
* Are there any "names in the frame"? I have seen little or no media speculation..
* Do posters who are club "insiders" know who are the leading candidates - and when this might happen?

I have a high level of confidence in Birch managing the folks going through the exit and maximising our financial benefits - but I am a little concerned that some of the better available talent might be snaffled by the time we settle our recruitment team.

Anyone have any reassuring messages for me?

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Comments

  • edited June 24
    We need someone slightly left field as they need to specialise in younger players who are currently undervalued.

    We need to feed the academy as well as straight into the firstteam.
    Jackareme
  • Above all, you would think a H of R needs to be experienced, first and last. 
  • Jackareme said:
    It has all gone quiet with regards to this key position, and the clock is ticking on getting our high earners out of the door, and bringing in the few key players than can help strengthen our squad. A couple of questions:
    * Are there any "names in the frame"? I have seen little or no media speculation..
    * Do posters who are club "insiders" know who are the leading candidates - and when this might happen?

    I have a high level of confidence in Birch managing the folks going through the exit and maximising our financial benefits - but I am a little concerned that some of the better available talent might be snaffled by the time we settle our recruitment team.

    Anyone have any reassuring messages for me?

    Birch conducted his hunt for a manager without feeding the media so why should he do any different in his search for a HR. We have to be patient. Agents are controlling the game now unfortunately, but there is plenty of talent out there, and although in the perfect world we would like to bring in new players as soon as they are free agents, sadly we are not in that position. 

    Schoolboy recruitment for the academy won't be affected, unless of course the head of recruitment there, Martin Evans, has taken voluntary redundancy.
  • Jackareme said:
    It has all gone quiet with regards to this key position, and the clock is ticking on getting our high earners out of the door, and bringing in the few key players than can help strengthen our squad. A couple of questions:
    * Are there any "names in the frame"? I have seen little or no media speculation..
    * Do posters who are club "insiders" know who are the leading candidates - and when this might happen?

    I have a high level of confidence in Birch managing the folks going through the exit and maximising our financial benefits - but I am a little concerned that some of the better available talent might be snaffled by the time we settle our recruitment team.

    Anyone have any reassuring messages for me?

    I thought everyone knew the names in the frame Jackareme? BigOak’s caddy has been leaking like a sieve. Sorry you didn’t get the memo.
    bigoak
  • I dont think they are waiting to hire the DoF in order to buy and sell.

    Cooper already said so in his opening press conference. He said he and Brits had identified targets and been contacted by people wanting to come and work with him.

    Birch I am sure is using all of his knowledge and tactics to do the deals, like he did with DJ. Big issue right now is the Ayews are on international duty. if they start playing well in the tournament, then interest will pick up. Prices will rise. Injury, and we have a problem.
  • Thanks @Mark_Jack_London ; a bit reassuring..@Cadleigh I did indeed totally miss the memo! Patience is a virtue, I must try and acquire some.
    Cadleigh
  • So from the squad we are down a left back, a centre half, a midfielder, and a winger plus we need a goalscorer. Thats before anyone else leaves.

    We need to get on and identify who is moving up from the u23s and who we need to bring in. Five players at the moment and no sign of any movement.

    The Ayews future wont be decided for a few weeks and its looking like Borja will need to come back and play for us next season.

    We cannot wait until the three big players futures are decided, or we wont have any options. We will start preseason without 5 of the squad we need subject to the u23s. Not a good way to start the preseason training.
    Jackareme
  • I think you are worrying over something totally out of the club's hands, most clubs that have a new manager and the need to get the high earners off the wage bill have the same problem and will go through the same scenario, and although not ideal Cooper and Birch will just get on with it.

    Don't you think SC has already spoken to Toshack regarding prospects in his U23 squad, but it's when the pre-season work begins when these youngsters will get their opportunity, as what happened last pre-season. What if Jack Evans impresses Cooper, he would be like a new signing to the club, or even Jordan Garrick.

    The club is not in the ideal position to start the season with a fully functional playing squad while the time to be concerned is when the window closes and few quality recruits have been added. Until then its wait and see.
    deekay
  • Totally agree col,sc hasn’t had a chance to assess his squad he’s only been here 5 minutes.im sure he’s got his own targets as do the club.theyre probably monitoring players and speaking to agents on a daily basis.its still June and players are still under contract.give it time I’m sure it will happen 
  • I believe I have strayed into a “Yes Minister” script. 

    1. Nothing to do at the moment, lets just wait and see.
    2. We couldnt foresee that, If we could have then we could have done something.
    3. Well its happened now, so there is nothing we can do.

    I hope SC is ok, in the interview he looked like he had reached the stage everyone gets to, when they realise the scale of the new job they have taken on.

    Hes going to need a lot of support, Ijust hope he can get the squad on side and inspired.

    Lets be clear, this year was always going to be the best opportunity we have to get promoted, we miss it at our peril.
  • If we had kept Potter it would have been our best opportunity to get back in the PL but with a new manager we aren’t exactly back to square one but a tad more advanced than last season.
    That is at the moment, but have no doubts events in the playing squad will soon change.
    Don’t forget, the Championship is a marathon and many clubs/squads stronger than our have fallen by the wayside. To say this is our best time for promotion is quite foolish. Football doesn’t work like that and we are not privy to what goes on inside well organised football clubs besides a club like ours that has still to reach stability.
  • I'm sure that SC is getting a great deal of support from within the club (who better than Leon and Curt?) and more in the background. External support from friends and colleagues from the Academy (FA) and the whole of the Jack Army.
    I think it is a case of sit back and wait (and hope).
  • @Colin_swansea Well if Im foolish then you are being naive. Once this year is over we will be selling a couple of Players a season to finance the club. So even though you dont want to hear it, this season was always our best opportunity for promotion.

    Not sure what encouragement the “......championship is a marathon and stronger clubs have fallen by the wayside...” comment is supposed to give us

    Sadly finances do make the difference, and next year we will be running on a shoestring budget.

    Not sure what the ‘...we are not privy..” is meant to be about, but its doesnt matter. Cluns best opportunity to make it back to the Pl is in the first two years, after that you are right they tend to fall by the wayside for many years.

    If thats your message, its one of despair, not hope.
  • Its not easy to move high earners on, otherwise they would have gone by now, it highly likely that we'll get jack shit for both the Ayews plus we may have to give them a lump just to go. Its the sad state of football but here's the rub, we'd all hold out and sit on our arses if the deal isn't right for us as individuals.
  • SpringheeledJack,
    I am no lover of the PL and possibly the best opportunity we have of getting rid of our owners is to stay where we are for a couple of seasons. Should we be in the Championship for the 20/21 season, of course there will be a sizeable drop in revenue, but we should be in a position then that all high earners have been offloaded and any new recruits will have wages within the club's budget and hope the final parachute payment will enable the club to compete in signing a better quality player.

    Hopefully no players will leave before the new season starts but be it Oli, Roberts, Grimes or even Celina, then I have faith in Birch to get the best possible deal for either player.

    I have been labelled a mug, so being called naïve is water off a duck's back as far as I am concerned, but what I am is realistic and experienced to know that through the years a football season in the EFL is one long grind and history tells me that you havn't got to be in the best 2/3/4 teams in either EFL league to get promotion or even start a new season well.

    We can all hope and perhaps dream of the new season ahead yet fail to actually realise that the club is almost totally dependant on offloading the high earners by the time the window closes, but the alternative if Birch fails in this task is to sell players this season and not next season as you proclaim.

    The only football clubs you can predict will do well are the big three/four in the PL and you only have to look at the money thrown into returning to the PL straightaway by Stoke and WBA, besides the high salaries paid to players by Derby County to realise how close to FFP, even mid-league teams like Birmingham City have actually been operating in their 'dream' of getting a bit of the 'golden fleece' that is the PL.
  • @Colin_swansea If you dont want us to get promoted as a strategy to get rid of the owners, then thats fair enough.

    For me, the second season is clearly our best opportunity, with the big changes made last year, the progress with the style and youngsters, hopefully most of who will stay for one more season. It gets only tougher after that and for me. I believe our best strategy for the owners going is to return to the PL, as I believe they will want to sell quickly not to risk relegation again.

    So different strategies to achieve the same thing, but thats why Im concerned we are on our mettle this season in all areas.

    I do disagree about the relegated teams. Experience has shown its unlikely the 3 relegated teams will do well. Most are in some form of crisis, players will leave and the teams are used to losing. None of last years relegated teams got promoted as we know. However it is interesting that the two teams relegaated with us are now  high odds for a promotion play off place.

    So no certainities anywhere.
  • I have to agree Colin regarding the PL.To me It's a vehicle for making exorbitant sums for players,agents and owners/investors and has attracted several shades of the mercenary from home and world wide .You use the  word 'fleece' in their too and I think that is appropriate in many cases.

    For me we have been there/done that and if it takes several years of watching an honest competitive team with a chance of promotion or the play-offs to late in the season, that would suit me.
    Just a personal view.
  • Well that sounds like a recipe for the trapdoor way out of the Championship. 

    The PL is only a vehicle for making huge sums if you play the PL game. We didnt, to get there and we didnt, for the first few seasons, then we started to believe we could buy our way to staying in the PL, and started playing the PL game that was the problem, and we are still paying for it. we need to be the best Championship team in the PL.

    So if you want us to be competitive for promotion but dont want to get to the PL, that doesnt really make sense. I honestly believe if we dont lose the core of our players this year we can be real promotion candidates, but if we arent then probably 4/5 of our players will want to go next season and we will be going backwards again rebuilding the team yet again. Young players can only be so patient, and slightly older ones like VdH even less so.

    So this idea of a happy period of playing for a few seasons in the Championship, will put us in a perpetual state of rebuilding, or something far worse.
    SeaJack
  • Ipswich stagnated at Championship level for 17 years before finally taking the plunge last season. 

    For the first 10 years or thereabouts they invested fairly generously in the squad, and were there or thereabouts for promotion a few times, including play off appearances, without ever quite making it back up. 

    Then - guess what - the owner gradually started to turn off the tap. Slow, gradual decline followed in the main (save for one season where Mick McCarthy somehow got them to a play off semi on a shoestring budget). 

    It's been proven that the longer you hang about at this level the more likely you are to head downwards rather than up.

    Which is why I maintain that this apparent experiment to turn us into a deluxe version of Crewe will only end in tears. You will, eventually be eaten alive by ambitious teams coming up from L1 and the Stokes and West Broms coming back down and spending the megabucks.

    NB I am not advocating spaffing silly money down the drain here, I am just talking about reasonable, sensible investment. Unfortunately our owners seem to be completely opposed to doing even that. We will pay in the end.
  • edited June 25
    Well that sounds like a recipe for the trapdoor way out of the Championship. 

    The PL is only a vehicle for making huge sums if you play the PL game. We didnt, to get there and we didnt, for the first few seasons, then we started to believe we could buy our way to staying in the PL, and started playing the PL game that was the problem, and we are still paying for it. we need to be the best Championship team in the PL.

    So if you want us to be competitive for promotion but dont want to get to the PL, that doesnt really make sense. I honestly believe if we dont lose the core of our players this year we can be real promotion candidates, but if we arent then probably 4/5 of our players will want to go next season and we will be going backwards again rebuilding the team yet again. Young players can only be so patient, and slightly older ones like VdH even less so.

    So this idea of a happy period of playing for a few seasons in the Championship, will put us in a perpetual state of rebuilding, or something far worse.
    The owners have given the ok to fund the academy for another season and who knows, should we offload the high earners they will do it again the following season. There have been redundancies in the academy but that was only to be expected with the overstaffing of coaches there.
    We currently have owners who we were told were going to take the club to the next level, yet the amount of cash they have put into the club is arguable. A strong academy is the club's only lifeline, producing good, quality youngsters year in, year out. Over the last 5 seasons the improvement in the quality is there for all to see and although there is no guarantee that it will continue, what other pathway for the club is there, unless of course we are still dreaming for an Arab to 'ride to the club's rescue.' 

    Allied to a productive academy what is imperative is player recruitment at a cost the club can afford, whether it be for the first team or the U23's, out of contract, or low cost signings like Byers, Oli, Garrick and Benda.

    Incidentally, Burnley, Palace, Norwich, WBA, Wolves and Hull have all bounced back after relegation form the PL, perhaps not straight away but within a couple of seasons.


    Wyn
  • I would argue that the Head of Recruitment position is more important for our long-term success than the managerial one - important as that is too. Stuart Webber got two clubs promoted from the Championship - in Huddersfield and Norwich - without spending money that the clubs didn't have. A big factor in his success is his knowledge of foreign markets, both managerial and player-wise. His recognition that German football coaches have a far more rigorous preparation than their British counterparts was an important element in his ability to steal a march on his Championship counterparts, who are still over-reliant on under-prepared, often big-name ex-player, British coaches. 

    Although I'm confident that Birch and co appointed the best suited candidate of those interviewed it is a bit of a concern that only very few foreign coaches without extensive experience of British football featured amongst the runners and riders (e.g. Kasper Hjulmand). This perhaps reflects the narrowness of the experience of Birch, Curtis and Leon within the British game. Will the same scenario play out with regards to the Head of Recruitment position? I sincerely hope not. We really need to spread our net far and wide, and recruit internationally, if that's where the best candidate's experience lies. We may be lucky and land ourselves a Stuart Webber, with experience here and abroad - but failing that I'd rather see a HoR with an extensive contacts list abroad, and an in-depth understanding of under-appreciated markets (Scandinavia and eastern Europe) to complement Steve Cooper's contact list. 

    I strongly recommend the YouTube interview with Stuart Webber embedded in this article:  https://trainingground.guru/articles/stuart-webber-climb-of-the-canaries . It's over an hour long, but well worth a listen, if only for the digs at the Cardiff approach to things.
    JackaremeColinNorthampton
  • I particularly liked the "Without being rude I wouldn't pay to see Cardiff City" bit 6:17 in. Followed by "I can't watch that..." It's not as if he's being gratuitously insulting to Cardiff either - it just reflects his preferences about how a team should play. 

    If only we'd spotted Aberystwyth born Webber's talent when he was still at Wrexham and brought him on board. We'd still be in the Premier League I reckon. 
  • Ipswich stagnated at Championship level for 17 years before finally taking the plunge last season. 

    For the first 10 years or thereabouts they invested fairly generously in the squad, and were there or thereabouts for promotion a few times, including play off appearances, without ever quite making it back up. 

    Then - guess what - the owner gradually started to turn off the tap. Slow, gradual decline followed in the main (save for one season where Mick McCarthy somehow got them to a play off semi on a shoestring budget). 

    It's been proven that the longer you hang about at this level the more likely you are to head downwards rather than up.

    Which is why I maintain that this apparent experiment to turn us into a deluxe version of Crewe will only end in tears. You will, eventually be eaten alive by ambitious teams coming up from L1 and the Stokes and West Broms coming back down and spending the megabucks.

    NB I am not advocating spaffing silly money down the drain here, I am just talking about reasonable, sensible investment. Unfortunately our owners seem to be completely opposed to doing even that. We will pay in the end.
    So what does a club do when its owners have no intention of throwing money into a pot for player recruitment, or does not have the financial resources to do so apart from funding academy/youth schemes. Not only our current owners but the ones who will eventually replace them.
    Are you forgetting also how little cash in comparison to other clubs our old board of directors actually paid out for players prior to the PL, and who were indebted to Kevin Reeves for his astuteness in spotting players.
    Just imagine if Martin Morgan is involved in re-purchasing the club and the limited amount of cash at his disposal, while, can you only honestly compare ourselves to Stoke and WBA when you consider the wealthy guys funding either club.
    Wyn
  • Having a plan and sticking to it levels the playing field somewhat. If you have a style and an ethos around buying young and ambitious and selling at top dollar then we can still be competitive.
    It was when we reversed the script and (a) forgot our style and ethos and (b) started paying over the odds on random panic buys that it all fell apart.
    If we get back to basics (and we made a good start last year) then I think we can be competitive and proud of our club once again. 
    Wyn
  • Once personal gain enters one’s brain then sadly there is only one direction a club will take. 
    Jackareme
  • @Colin_swansea We agree on the importance of the Academy.  that is the way forward.... Although I dont believe the owners agreed to fund the academy, it would be more accurate to say, they didnt make a decision to close it. A decision that may be revisited each year.

    Im far from sure they really understand how vital the Academy is....It is essential and a return to the PL, with a clear route to the first team and a coach who values and develops young players could be a huge attraction for young players

    Also there is no evidence they have put any money into the club, and I believe theri track record tells us they wont.

    The struggle to see the logic of how staying in the Championship will persuade the owners to sell. Even if that was likely, which it isnt, what sort of owner would that attract! The only good outcome would be if the Trust could afford to buy the shares.

    I dont see the Trust attempting to raise the £20m it would need (plus the potential £20m from taking the old shareholders to court) in order to buy the shares.

    So for me promotion to the PL is far more likely to persuade the owners to sell and recover most of their investment.


    And I believe we can get promotion this year but we really have to on our ‘A’ game to make it happen.
  • the costs they said was £5m per annum. and it made financial sense to keep it going. the right choice. and I think they'll make the same decision next season too. the money is quite small in the great scheme of things.
    Wyn
  • @Mark_Jack_London Not when your income budget is in the £20m- £25m range. If you just look at the numbers they could easily decide to close it.

    the wrong decision but you need to understand football to make the right one, so at least we have TB for the next 2 years, after that anything goes, unless the owners are gone.
  • Sorry to keep banging on about Norwich, but they really have set the template for other Championship clubs, especially clubs like ours that simply doesn't have the cash to splash on signings. Apart from bringing through the likes of Aarons, Lewis, Godfrey and Cantwell from their academy (all of whom played more than 50% of games in the Championship last season), they have done spectacularly well in terms of the players they've brought in - for very low fees. 

    Since this time last year Norwich brought in (figures from Transfermarkt): Leitner joined for 1.5 Million Euros from Augsburg, Pukki joined for free from Brondby, Buendia joined for 1.5 Million Euros from Getafe, Tim Krul joined from Brighton on a free transfer, Ben Marshall joined from Wolves for 1.7 Million Euros, and Rhodes joined from Sheffield Wednesday on loan. Only Marshall of the above didn't play a big part in Norwich's Championship winning side - and that was mainly down to the emergence of Aarons. To put the above in context, all of these players cost far less than Celina, and also cost less than Asoro (2.3 Million Euros).

    If you look at the previous season, after Stuart Webber joined in April 2017, Norwich also signed the likes of:  Zimmermann joined Jul 2017 for free from B Dortmund II, Trybull joined for free from Den Haag in August 2017, Vrancic joined from SV Darmstadt for 0.75 Million Euros in July 2017, Stiepermann joined from Bochum for 1.7 million Euros August 2017, Grant Hanley joined from Newcastle for 3.8 million Euros in August 2017. Only Hanley cost more than £1.5 million - the only Championship-sourced player (significant?), and the only disappointment. 

    Norwich have set the bar very high - but have at least shown how it's possible to achieve great success on a shoestring. Many of the elements that they had to achieve success (Category One academy, progressive footballing philosophy, Premier League training and physio/medical support) are in place at Swansea. The huge remaining missing piece in the jigsaw is the equivalent of Stuart Webber. Should we find someone with his drive, insight and capability we'll be flying. 

    If you can't be bothered to listening to Stuart Webber's interview in full (which incidentally is probably the most insightful thing I've ever heard that's relevant to Swansea's situation), then listen from 1:00:41 onwards - where he discusses recruitment specifically:

    CadleighJackareme
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