Liverpool FC and london buses

Two months ago, Richard Edelman asked us to look at succession planning within the firm. If any senior manager was to “go under a bus” who would replace them or what was the process for finding a replacement? Good question. Fair enough, if a little disconcerting to be thinking about the business equivalent of your own funeral. I couldn’t help compare this approach to Liverpool FC where that historic clubs’ owners yesterday revealed that they too were succession planning. Here’s their approach according to an article on

“In November, when it appeared we were in danger of not advancing in the Champions League, and were not playing well in our Premier League matches, and Rafa and we [Hicks and Gillett – the owners] were having communication issues over the January transfer window, George and I met with Jürgen Klinsmann.

“We wanted to learn as much as we could about English and European football. We attempted to negotiate an option, as an insurance policy, to have him become manager if Rafa left for Real Madrid or other clubs that were rumoured in the UK press, or in case our communication spiralled out of control for some reason”.

Behind the back of Rafa Benitiz, the incumbent manager, they negotiate an “insurance policy” with a replacement. Not with him. In secret and motivated by some bad results and “communication issues”. I have often seen similarities between professional sport organisations and PR firms as both rely so heavily on the management of talent to get great performance. Succession planning can and should be a valuable and motivating management tool as part of that process. But not this way, so I have to assume that these experienced business owners know exactly what they were doing and that Rafa’s exit has already been decided upon.

[tags] Liverpool FC, Sucession planning [/tags]

Categories Technology

5 thoughts on “Liverpool FC and london buses

  1. As much as it kills me to say this they should take a page from the Glazers’ book. “You know this. I don’t. Here’s a load of money go win me something”.


  2. depressingly un Liverpool like. Dirty laundry in public. All very unsavoury 😦


  3. Rafa is going to join the Players guard of honour to mark Carra’s 500th game tonight – someone is getting his commmunications right…


  4. I am in agreement with you Steve. I can’t believe that this is being aired. What pray tell has happened & can it stop please?


  5. Not the way to carry on, unprofessional, VERY unlike Liverpool and at risk of losing trust from fans and coaching staff alike. A stupid, stupid move. Like any business, honesty and ethics have got to be intact.


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