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. In the majority of European countries where professional football is played, the person responsible for the direction of a team is awarded the position of coach or “trainer”.
While the first team coach in European football 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. A manager/coach is essentially responsible for running and functioning of the team. The manager/coach’s responsibilities in a professional football club usually include (but are not limited to) the following.
- Coach and train players at the club.
- Autonomy to make tactical and personnel decisions to shape the way his side plays football.
- 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.
- Transferring (buying and selling) players in the transfer market, including loans.
- Managing contracts of current players.
- Conducting press conferences and media management, i.e., facing the media in pre-match and post-match interviews.
Some of the above responsibilities are shared with the director of football or sporting director, and are at times delegated to an assistant manager or club coach. Additionally, depending on the club, often managers/coaches of small clubs, responsibilities include:
- Marketing the club, most especially for ticket admission, sponsorship and merchandising.
- Growing turnover and keeping the club profitable.