11th January 2019
Mark Warburton: ‘You have to recognise the expectations of the fans and boardroom’
By Rebecca Hawksworth
Football is a game of passion and expectation, something that former Glasgow Rangers manager Mark Warburton knows a lot about having managed at the top level since 2013.
Warburton, whose former clubs also include Brentford and Nottingham Forest, explained during a recent interview with UCFB how head coaches have to appreciate the expectation of fans and the pressures that are on their shoulders when taking on a job.
Speaking exclusively to UCFB, Warburton said: “You have to remember that it’s an industry that is very emotional. At the end of the day it’s about the performance on the pitch and the fans buy into that. It’s their club so you never lose sight of that.
“If Brentford go away to a game and we’re expected to win, and we don’t, then we’re dealing with all the passion of the fans and you recognise that they have paid money to travel. The pressures are great but you have to recognise the expectations of fans and what your team should and could deliver. You have to be ready for that.”
Warburton, who led Brentford to the Championship play-offs in 2015, went on to speak of the importance of coaches not only keeping the fans happy, but also keeping the owners and the chief executives happy and appreciating the financial side to the game.
He said: “The guys in the boardroom also want to win, it’s their club. They want to win and they are responsible for the balance sheet, so you have to have that knowledge and that appreciation and recognition of what’s involved on that side.”
With football being the most popular sport on the planet, it is a highly competitive industry to forge a career in. Warburton, who worked on the trading floors in the City of London until the early 2000s when he was offered a permanent coaching role with Watford, went on to speak of the competitiveness in the football industry and advised UCFB students not to expect an easy rise.
He said: “Bumps will come. Don’t be naive enough to think that you’re going to have this silky smooth road with no bumps in it because it’s not going to be that way. Football is a passionate game; it’s the game that everybody wants to be involved in. Rest assured whether you want to be a coach, or in the medical or commercial side, there will be 15 or 20 other people that want your job.”
Having been hired by numerous clubs during his career, Warburton knows what it takes to fight off other applicants and get through a successful interview process. Finishing by outlining the skills and qualities that he would look for when hiring a candidate, Warburton said: “For me, working in football you’ve got to be a person that adds value to the business and if I’m hiring and if I’m interviewing then I’m looking for the person that can add value. You’re going to have 10, 15, 20 people with very comparable CVs. I think the advice from me would be to use the interview to really sell yourself. Don’t be daunted by it; relish it and prepare for it.”