LEGENDARY ex-Albion boss Micky Adams became yet another managerial statistic when he was sacked by Sheffield United on Tuesday, which yet again shows how times have changed when it comes to hiring and firing.
In 1987, Brighton boss Barry Lloyd was almost in a carbon copy situation to Adams, having inherited a club with serious financial problems.
Albion, like the Blades, were relegated from the then Division 2 (now the Championship), but rather than the axe falling, the Albion board let him rebuild which resulted in promotion the following season. And, even then at the beginning of the 1988-89 season, when Lloyd’s newly-promoted team suffered eight straight defeats, he still kept his job.
Would he have kept his job in both situations today?
Somehow, I doubt it.
As for Micky, sources close to the club (clearly not very reliable) had indicated that he was going to be given the same opportunity as Barry Lloyd did 24 years ago. But perhaps the die was cast at United’s last home game when 20,000 Blades fans started chanting “you don’t know what you’re doing” to Adams.
Rightly or wrongly, any director with any nous sitting in the ground will think “will these people be prepared to buy season tickets in this current situation?”
And, ultimately, the season-ticket money is what keeps a club going during the summer months and finances future plans. If that’s seriously affected, any manager is a dead man walking.
Having said that, Sky Sports News spoke to six random Blades fans on Tuesday night and all but one of them felt the club had been too hasty.
Returning south, in Tony Bloom, the Albion have not only someone who is passionate about his football club, he has the finance to achieve his ambitions but is also realistic in the way he runs the club.
I’m one of those 40-somethings, and there are a few younger people, who have seen the Albion in all four divisions of the Football League. I’ve been to the top stadiums in this country and seen the Seagulls in league action, and also been to some of the worst.
No team has a divine right to play in any league. Look at the number of “big teams” who have ended up in the third and fourth divisions over the years?
There is a saying that the word “if” is half of “life”, but if the Albion can maintain the winning combination of Bloom in the boardroom and Poyet in the dugout, then anything is possible.
Figures are already being bandied around about playing budgets for next season. But ever the poker player, you can have great conversations with Tony Bloom but he won’t reveal anything unless he wants to.
I think fear is a little too strong a word to use but my concern is that Poyet is destined for bigger and better things. He will say now that managerially he’s not the finished article, but at some point, possibly in the next 18-24 months, he clearly will be a serious candidate for either the Chelsea or the Spurs job.
If, in the meantime, he can emulate Norwich and get Albion into the top flight, where I believe under the stewardship of Bloom they could remain, rather than the classic “yo-yo” clubs, then the thousands who will pack the Amex for the next few years will be more than happy.