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Recent economic and political events in Europe’s autumn

have highlighted the dangers of reckless over-spending,

poor debt management and short-sighted, short-term

leadership. The macro-economic solutions being worked

on in Europe’s major capitals have micro-economic lessons

in them. Short-term fixes do not bring about long-term

solutions, stability and prosperity.

The LMA’s Annual Management Conference held in

October at the magnificent Emirates stadium, brought

football and business together for a day of discussion and

debate on the subject of leadership. We heard from leaders

from all walks of life, business, the armed forces, talent

development and, of course, some of the LMA’s most

senior members.

The delegates present gained a fascinating insight into

the variety of challenges that leaders face and yet, despite

the diversity of experiences on stage, a group of consistent

themes appeared; the setting of realistic targets, the building

of a winning culture; support from the top down and,

most notably, clear and regular communication. All of the

speakers pointed towards the value of building a long-term

vision and sticking with it.

As we approach the end of 2011, we have seen a year

in which football clubs in England have spent a record

amount on the payment of compensation and legal fees in

the dismissal of managers across the leagues. This defies the

principles of building for stability and success and, more

worryingly, is an expense that clubs, certainly in the lower

leagues, can ill afford. As the squeeze on finances, from the

global institution to the man in the street, continues, we

hope 2012 will not see a repeat of the vast sums of money

being wasted from the game.

The end of 2011 has also seen a uniting of the football

family, in sadness, at the awful news of Gary Speed’s death.

On behalf of the LMA and all of our members we offer

our sincerest condolences and our full support to Gary’s

family. We wish them strength in what must be the hardest

of circumstances. Gary was highly respected and well liked,

and it is a wonderful testament to the man and a legacy for

his family, that the outpouring of grief has been so heartfelt

and magnanimous is its praise of him. It wasn’t just that

he was a great player and a very promising young manager,

but also, that across the spectrum from fans to his peers he

was much admired as a true professional, a ‘good bloke’ and

gentleman of the game.

Richard Bevan





“We hope 2012

will not see a repeat

of vast sums of

money being wasted

from the game”