Paul Duffen, the Hull chairman and a Tottenham fan, said:
“The idea of a director of football is very amusing to us. The clubs with the biggest problems in this country have directors of football.
“I feel you need a shallow hierarchy, total accountability, with nowhere to hide, good communication and you don't want an interim layer between the boardroom and the management. The extra layer tends to obviate responsibility and nobody really knows who is accountable."
And yet Levy swears by his precious DoF system. Even though history tells another story altogether. Look at Hoddles reign, where one blamed the other for the failings of the team. It's almost like a Director of Football is there to legislate who comes and goes by sanctioning transfers - having the final say on whether its a green or red light. It's a safety net to protect Levy's far more important ethos of 'what's best for the business' - rather than what's best for the footballing team.
Yes, our finances are in great shape. But losing sight of what happens on the pitch can result in losing status as a top flight club. Which means those fantastic finances turn to shit. And all because of an extra few million not being spent because 'our' valuation of players did not match the clubs we were attempting to sign them from. Which cost us a certain Russian forward (or maybe it was agent interference) and one or two other players that we could really do with at he minute.
So what's the answer? Simply put, keep things simple. Have a chief scout, call him a DoF if you really find that title sexy, but have him as nothing more than someone who scouts and updates the coach/manager on targets. If Ramos wants a player, and wants him bad, then we sign him on the strength of what he wants - rather than what Comolli thinks we need.
And if all fails - then the manager is the responsible one. No blame game.
I don't see the risk. I know what Levy would say. He'd say that we need a DoF system to make sure things do not go out of control, money wise, over-spending and turning into another Leeds Utd.
There's this quote that usually does the rounds every now and again in newspaper articles about Levy. It's something like 'I'll never let another Rebrov happen to this club again' (if anyone has the correct quote, please feel free to share).
What Levy means is that the club won't go out and spend so much money on a player that proves to be an unmitigated disaster. But unless my memory serves me wrong, Rebrov was a Pleat signing, and Hoddle didn't rate him. So is this not a DoF error?
And with the DoF in place we've spend £16.5M on Darren Bent and £14M on Pav and £15M (maybe more) on Bentley.....and so on.
Fair enough if we are asking Ramos 'do you want this player?' - but hands up if you believe that's how it works?
There was a wonderful Martin Jol interview in the broadsheets this past weekend (Sunday Times). And the stand out quote from the big huggable man?
"I knew Comolli was trying to get Ramos in the summer, even when we had just finished fifth.”
So was the start we had down to the politics behind the scenes? It's the picture painted by Martin and preached by a number of Spurs fans. The way we went Ramos-chasing, led by Kemsley, suggests Levy got a little bit too ambitious too early. See the fundamental problem here is that if Comolli really knee-deep in these type of discussion making then it's suggestive that the DoF is the most important role at the club. The club's 'drive'. And that the coach is secondary to this Holy position.
The DoF selects the coach. The coach has to be compatible with the DoF. The DoF buys the players (Kaboul, KPB for example) rather than the coaches choice in players (Petrov, for example). And when it turns to shit, the coach is the scape-goat.
But with one failure following another, this is now far too transparent (if it wasn't before to the most blind of fans).
Will Levy admit defeat? Of course not. If Ramos goes, then another willing 'coach' will arrive and the same cycle of disfunction will begin. Much like the snake swallowing its own tail, at some point soon, there be nothing left.