Real Business – Would you hire a David Moyes type for your business?

Despite being caught up in various controversies, David Moyes has been named the new manager at West Ham United. Is it a good idea to introduce such a leader into your business?

Before it was official, rumours circulated that David Moyes could be named the new West Ham manager – an announcement that was met with disdain on social media, as fans of the team and the sport voiced disappointment of the potential decision.

As it stands, West Ham is in the relegation zone, so it’s all to play for right now. However, based on previous records, West Ham is at risk of falling into the same trap as Moyes’ ex-club Sunderland. Would he stick around if the worst happened?

It stands to reason that West Ham fans, the customers pumping money into the club, are concerned. And what precedent does his performance and behaviour set for players?

David Alexander, founder of sports PR consultancy Calacus, admitted that while they are businesses that need results, football clubs and sports clubs are unlike other operations – due to the fact they’re so public.

“David Moyes did very well at Everton and some would argue that he was not given sufficient time at Manchester United. Despite difficult spells in Spain and then at Sunderland, his reputation is not tarnished beyond repair,” Alexander said.

He said the issue is down to a dearth of young talented alternatives coming through the ranks to fill managerial posts.

“As with any managerial appointment, time will tell if hiring Moyes was a good decision. West Ham, like any other Premier League club, are in the results business. If Moyes can turn the club’s fortunes around and ensure their top flight status, he will have done his job,” he continued.

“Hiring Moyes shows that the owners are intent on doing what they believe is right, even if it does not capture the imagination of the supporters. While the owners always want the fans to back their decisions, whether that is a new manager or a new signing, the priority is to stay up.”

Alexander noted the fact that the Moyes deal is only six months, running to the end of the season. It suggests even the directors have their reservations about his performance as they didn’t issue a multi-year contract.

Feeding onto the disappointment fans voiced about Moyes, Alexander believes that no manager is truly free of a reputation thanks to social media and round the clock news. There is a right way to get appointments made to customers and earn their confidence.

“When any high level appointment is made, in sport or business, it is up to the organisation to communicate clearly and engage with media and fans,” he said.

“Communicating that vision is vital, particularly when the response has been sceptical and unenthusiastic. It is about understanding the culture of the organisation and explaining to stakeholders (in this case the fans and players) how the manager plans to blend tradition with innovation.

“We live in an impatient world where everyone wants success quickly. If he can win his first few games and move up the table, it will buy him some time for the challenges ahead, particularly if he is given funds to bring in some exciting signings in January.”

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