Football Coaches Australia (FCA) has called for more security around coaching contracts after a season of upheaval on A-League benches.
At least five clubs are expected to begin their next campaigns with new coaches in charge. Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners are already searching for their next permanent boss after parting ways with their coaches.
Melbourne City and Wellington Phoenix look set to join them for different reasons, while new entrants Western United are yet to name their inaugural coach.
While coaching changes make for terrific theatre, the more concerning aspect for the FCA is that resulting disputes over payments often see sidelined bosses left high and dry.
“Presently, coaches are having their contracts being terminated without a consistent process, largely on a case-by-case basis,” FCA chief executive Glenn Warry said.
“This provides them with a lack of stability and awareness about any subsequent processes.
“All coaches involved in the A-League, W-League, National Youth League, and National Premier League should have the right to access a Standard Coaching Contract approved by FCA in coordination with the relevant club bodies.
“Standardisation will help coaches and clubs to understand exactly what their legal obligations are for the duration of the agreed term. The failure to adopt consistent standards has led to a rise in confusion and disagreements, as well as an industry trend of coaches not being paid their full contractual entitlements.”
Warry added that clubs and coaches needed to look past simply wins and losses when setting goals.
“Coaches are currently evaluated primarily on this singular win-loss outcome measure, which is neither completely controllable by coaches nor reflective of their ability to develop players,” he said.
“A-League clubs and head coaches should identify the specific objectives that will dictate their success and measure success on an annual basis.
“This may relate to a head coach’s shared vision, leadership and development of high performance culture, win/loss ratios to achieve the result on match day in a manner that entertains the fans, game plan, style of play, ability to identify, recruit and develop players, and communication with players and stakeholders.”