Managers, Directors and Trust in Professional Football

Seamus R. Kelly, Dublin Institute of Technology
John Haris, Kent State University, Ohio

Document Type Article


Based on semi-structured interviews with 25 players and 20 managers this essay will examine the relationship between managers and the owners and directors of professional football clubs. The findings identify hostility and distrust as a common feature of this relationship. More specifically, from the standpoint of managers, this hostility and distrust partially emanates from the perceived motives of owners and directors and their interference in issues traditionally seen as falling within the manager’s role. The research highlights the very closed and insular world of professional football and also considers how the changing nature and status of the game impacts upon traditional roles and functions.