Presidents as a manager tends to compile great players . Coach as a manager buys players that is missing for his team to play well.
Three main models of leadership have been prevailing in the European football over the last four decades. One of them features a powerful president, who attracts all the spotlight at the expense of his administration’s other members, including the coach. Another type of leadership puts the trainer in front of the scene with, behind him, an administration, which he shares certain responsibilities with, such as recruitment. In the third model the power lies in the administration, not in the president nor the coach.
The British football is known for privileging the second mentioned model of leadership while most of the other countries keep having the old school leadership with a president who manages and recruits at a time. Few countries like Germany presents the model of leadership with a team-management turns around the team-players, which includes the coach.
A simple observation of Real Madrid supremacy over the UEFA Champions League would lead to quickly conclude that the old school management leads to better outcomes. The Merengue have won eight Liga and six European leagues over the last 22 years, five of them over the last eight years. However, a deeper look would show that neither the leadership with a president in one man show, nor the one with a collective leadership work better than the British model that let the coach to manage things that are going to the game field.
A leap further back to the 1980s and 1990s would provide arguments to sustain an assertion that the model with a powerful president work better. The AC Milan won three UEFA Champions League over that period, but its hegemony has never been as undisputed in Europe as it has been with Real Madrid since 2000. Another element of comparison is that Berlusconi’s AC Milan triumphed 6 times during that great period of its existence.
However, if no team really contested AC Milan’s hegemony locally, Juventus, Naples, Inter Milan and even Roma grabbed some Series A cups. Furthermore, from 1980 t0 2000, six new clubs, Porto, Celtic, Hamburger, Steaua, Marseille, Dortmund, Feyenoord, Aston Villa, Eindhoven and Red Star, joined the circle of continental champions. Not to talk about Juventus’ win in 1985.
The presidential model has worked for FC Barcelona too as they collected 10 local championships and four UEFA Champions League titles over the last two decades. This was still another argument to push back the affirmation that the model with a powerful president works better the others. This same model with Andre Agnelli’s Juventus Turin and Massimo Moratti’s Inter Milan reigned over the Italian Calcio, each for a long period. Eleven Italian championship cup went to Juventus, and five to Inter Milan over the last 22 years while each of them won one continental cup during that same period.
The old model worked too in France with Bernard Tapy’s Marseille earning four Ligue 1 and one UEFA champions League titles between 1988 and 1992. Same thing with Olympic Lyonnais, winner of the seven first Ligue 1 of the century. And we have Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s Paris Saint-Germain that have been gathering all Ligue 1 titles since 2012 but two.
The collective model seems being less successful in Europe than the two mentioned above, and it might be only for Bayern Munich, which one can easily assume that they will win the local championship before it starts. A leadership that leads its team to win three UEFA Champions League titles and 16 out of the 20 last local championships is more than effective.
However, none of the leagues predominantly presidential model is as competitive as the England Premier League.
No club with the English model of leadership have been as uncontested in their local league and locally as it has been with Real Madrid in Europe or FC Barcelona in Spain or even PSG in France. Except that Manchester United got seven Premier League, but just one UEFA championship in 20 years. Chelsea, winner of five local leagues and two UEFA Champions League, Liverpool, winner of one local league and two Champions Leagues, Manchester City, winner of six out of seven last Premier Leagues campaign, and Arsenal, winner of once, got used to contest the title among them. We must not forget Leicester City’s triumph in 2014-2015 as well as Tottenham Champions League final in Europe 2018-2019.
That being said, over the last 22 years no local league in Europe has been as competitive as the Premier League. Five teams from England reached UEFA Champions League during that period, some several times (Liverpool, 4 times, for instance). This is far more than in the five big leagues that include Spain, Italy Germany and France. Moreover, five different teams (Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal) won their respective domestic league. In France, just add PSG’s eight local titles to Lyon’s seven to see how disproportionate the concurrence is over there. Above we mentioned Bayer Munich overwhelming superiority in Germany.
In Spain, Valencia (2001-2002 and 2003-2004) and Athletico Madrid (2013-2014 and 2020-2021) got to intercept two titles each from the mastodons Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. in Italy, AC Milan just end the hand to hand between Juventus and Inter Milan for a second time since 2006.
Therefore, the real competition has been happening since then in England with the Premier League members have been fighting every year for the most prestigious continental title. Five different English clubs were finalists of the UEFA Champions League since 2000, more than in any other country.
Furthermore, at least six English clubs can pretend they will win the Premier League at the end of the exercise. Only three can have such a pretention in Spain, in Italy and in France, but not so many in Germany. In England, any of the four eligible to play an UEFA campaign is able to win it. In the other countries, only Real Madrid might nourish such an idea, not because its model of leadership is the best one, but because it does not favor competition nor attract investment as this is the case in Great Britain.
Because the British model let football experts, in occurrence the coach, decide what ingredients is necessary for the game recipe makes the game more competitive and attractive for fans and investors. Presidents tend to compile great players like Florentino Peres did with Real Madrid’s galactic in 2000s. Coach as a manager buys the player that is missing for his team to play well, though he can fail. But the president buys the players he wants or likes even though there is no need for. That might be why so many people with big money try to take over an English club.