Mark Hughes is to be joined at Manchester City by Brian
Marwood, the one-time England winger, who is expected to be appointed with
the title of football administrator. Marwood had initially been lined
up as a director of football, but City have offered him a different role
because Hughes did not want anybody brought in above him.
City have been
talking to Marwood, currently the head of the UK football operations for Nike,
for several weeks about appointing him in a role that would reunite him with the
club's executive chairman, Garry Cook. The two men had worked together at
This story definitely came out of the blue this morning, and despite not being carried anywhere else (the MEN carried a very small article regarding 'management additions' today), Daniel Taylor in The Guardian has usually been accurate in his reporting.
'Football Administrator' is definitely a new title on me and what remit he will have is not apparant, but if it is true that Hughes got his way in terms of Marwood not being appointed above him, it does show that despite reports persisting of him bening replaced his position looks to be s secure as it can be.
Apart from his commentary work, I can't confess to knowing too much regarding Marwood's post-playing career in terms of his suitability for such a position. It does appear though he has worked with Cook at Nike, and does seem to have a 'business head' about him in addition to his football background.
As ever with these scenarios, it will be interesting to see what precise role Marwood may hold, given that I don't see Hughes as the type to relinquish much (if any) control over playing matters. The difficulty with such appointments historically is that there has been no defined boundaries as to who is responsible for which area, often leading to problems at that level and rarely in the British game has there been a succesful example of the set up working.
Perhaps he is to be more of a part in developing the commercial side of the club along with Cook (and acting s a 'bridge' between the football and commercial side) as I'm sure the management (rather than playing) side are really looking to develop the club now along the lines of American sports models, where they are far ahead even the most succesful football clubs in terms of their operations.