Managing Expectations

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jamo 2 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #10726


    I think there are very few fans that don’t believe that on the whole our owners have been a big positive for the club, we might not agree with every decision, we might think that the way certain board members act is a bit classless, but we know that both Gold and Sullivan have the best interests of the club at heart.

    So why is it that forums and Twitter etc are so full of people that get frustrated, even angry and abusive towards the club, the owners and their family? I think I have the answer…

    In my line of work I provide my clients with a product that is sold on drawings and spec, they don’t see the product they are purchasing until it arrives, they can be spending anything from a couple of thousand to a couple of million, so to make sure we don’t have disappointed customers I emphasise to my team that they must manage the customers expectations. Under promise and over deliver. The customer may not fully understand the difficulty we have in designing or the intricacies of the manufacturing process, so we spell it out for them, we never make a promise where the keeping of it is not fully in our control.

    Now football is different to most businesses of course, but the principal of managing customers or fans expectations to stop disappointment is the same and this I believe is our clubs biggest weakness. We are in a very difficult position of trying to get a squad that can push us onto the next level but still struggle to attract the players from that level as we can’t just throw stupid money at them nor can we offer Champions (and maybe even Europa) football.

    So rightly, we make a list of top players and aim for the top, but realistically will probably realise we’ll have to settle for players further down that list, this is the approach the club has taken and it is the correct one, we have to aim for those top players, even if the chances are slim.

    I believe the mistake we make is two-fold. 1) announcing to fans that we WILL be getting a 30 goal a season player or we will be spending big money for a big name, you know the kind of quotes I mean. and 2) allowing the targeted players to be released. I believe a statement at the beginning of the window along the lines of the following would have helped manage the fans expectations and massively cut down on the negativity:

    ‘This summer the club as always will strive to improve the playing squad, as you know after an excellent season and at the dawn of a new era for the club in a great position to push on to the next level. However enviable our position is, it comes with it’s own difficulties. We want to push on to the next level, however we obviously can’t offer Champions League football which will often rule the very top players out, this doesn’t mean we won’t aim to get these players, it just means we need to be patient, it may mean getting players slightly below that level. Rest assured we will work tirelessly to get the best players possible. Although in an ideal world we would like to do our business early, past experience has shown that the players in our range now are likely to have other choices and as such we will lose out on some and others might keep us waiting and make their decision late, this is beyond our control. We won’t be making comments on individual players until a signing has been made, but please remember that not every player you hear us linked with will be true and we may be looking at players the media are unaware we are talking to. We realise it can be a worrying and frustrating time for fans, but rest assured we will make announcements only when signings are made.

    PS – that embarrassing Boleyn Insider article has been ditched as it doesn’t help anyone!’

    Ok so the wording might not be exactly right, but you get the idea. Rather than make brash statements that might come back and bite you in the arse, better to downplay everything and then enjoy hearing your own voice when you are announcing a player. I really think this approach would save them and their family a lot of the grief they get on Twitter and fans forums.

  • #10738


    I have every bit of faith in the owners, we have made the second most signings this summer in the league and have only spent just over £2m, if that’s not good business then I don’t know what is! And people need to remember that just because we don’t spend £30m on a striker doesn’t mean we’re not getting our 20 goal a season striker! Just look at Dimi for proof at £10m. Just trust in the board and let them do their thing.

  • #10810


    I understand the frustrations but I have every faith in DS & the board. Yes loads gets leaked but at the end of the day the progression is there for everyone to see.
    A lot of fans don’t realise the hour DS puts in & the stresses he goes through as both a fan & an owner. As far as I’m concerned they are the main reason we are where we are today. Yes we may not always get our top targets but there is always a diamond in the rough with our owners. Real talent found that has build a backbone of our squad.

    Keep the faith!

  • #10910


    Couldn’t agree more with both of you – my post wasn’t a criticism of the transfer activity from the board. If anything it is a criticism of impatient fans, however we will never be rid of those type of fans, so it is really up to the club to try and manage them better.

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