Saints are the best run club in the country

So it says here:

I do worry about stories like this. The expression ‘pride before a fall’ comes to mind. Coming on the day we sign Steven Bad Vibes Caulker on loan, I wonder… (Not that I believe in fate, goblins, jinns or hoodoo. Touch wood.)

We also seem to have been credited with a new, black-box’ variant of Moneyball, and I’m not sure I buy it. Isn’t it just that we’re in a period, likely to be short-lived, where everything seems to click?

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you negative bastard!

ps I agree

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I agree Furball, although not completely.

I think we’re doing a lot of things right and that has helped us to weather a few storms. So, given our size, reach, and the recent challenges we’ve faced, we probably are up there in the best run clubs.

However, I agree that we’ve been fortunate that things have clicked. As we know in football things can unclick very quickly.

It’s a business run by people to raise money to re-invest in a sport played by people that are managed by people. Put that many humans into a system and you have the potential for chaos every now and then.

So I think it’s eminently possible to be declared the best run team in July and yet skirt with relegation come May.


We’re run like a crappy seaside B&B

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I genuinely think we’ve got a very well thought out strategy and business plan in place, and a clear vision and direction that from the sounds of it, people are fully behind. I think that’s the basis for any well run business. That’s not to say that won’t change on the future - any business is at risk of change of management or complacency or whatever (look at Tesco) but right now, from the outside, we seem as well run as we can be, and that seems pretty rare in football. I don’t think that’s luck, or things coming together at the right moment, I think that’s probably off the back of a lot of hard work and talent.

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Yes, Lou, that’s the mantra. But it’s not complacency that will unravel the seeming upward trajectory. If you believe that if a player goes, we replace him with better and cheaper, or if a manager goes we replace him with better, there will come a point where that doesn’t work, and it starts the process of unravelling on the pitch.

For example, I’m excited by the signing of Clasie, but will he really be an effective replacement for Morgan, around whom the team was pretty much built? But there’s a larger problem lurking. We’re selling players at a premium, most of whom have been at the club for a long time and have developed here. I’d even include Clyne in that list. Now, the team is increasingly full of players who’ve been with us 12 months or less. That may or may not ramp up the volatility…

I can’t pretend to know what’s going to happen - but one thing I’m uncomfortable about is the belief that sensible and clever business/organsiational practices will keep the whole thing rolling on with incremental improvements in success on the pitch.

That’s what I don’t buy.

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Well, Furball, I guess that’s more a question of whether or not their strategy can be effective rather than are they a well run club. The real test will be if their strategy fails, do they have back up plans in place.

What I’m not entirely sure of, is if this plan (sell and buy better cheaper) is one of accident or design. If accident, as a response to last years player power, yes like you it makes me nervous.


This is an interesting debate. Not quite sure how I feel about it really. There is plenty of support for the contention of the OP. With the possible exception of our Cortese Premier League years, pundits have been referring to the likes of us and Swansea as model clubs for anyone looking to break the dominance of the top four. Honestly, I think the reason they’ve arrived at that opinion is largely superficial, based on little more than “ooh, they’ve gone through shitloads of upheaval and aren’t completely fucked”. The same pundits were saying we’d get relegated last year.

I am very sensitive to spin, so I’m not super-mollified with the noise out of the likes of Ralph Krueger or even Les Reed. Based on delivery and message alone, I’ve met all kinds of Krueger-like characters. They are extremely skilled at describing things in the best possible terms, so I am sceptical when I listen, especially because he’s spent most of his life working in a dangerously optimistic US culture.

I take Furball’s point about the dangers of recruitment. Just one appointment can wreck any org if it’s the wrong appointment, and we expose ourselves to more risk with more turnover. Since Cortese left, everything the club has said or done with regards to recruitment has acknowledged that risk in some way. It’s built into our process.

What really matters are the results, and the results since the Liebherr takeover have been staggering. We perhaps take it for granted now, perhaps feel like this was always how it was going to be. It wasn’t. We were fucked. Since then, we’ve made improvements on the pitch year on year, despite having internal friction, changing levels of compeition and a lot of external stimuli (such as Brendan Rodgers wanting to buy our entire fucking first team).

All things considered, I think the club has been run well.


Originally posted by @KRG

We’re run like a crappy seaside B&B

Damn. I only just this second got that.

I am comfortable with us being run in a Feyenord or second tier European club manner, who have to sell players all the time and just replace with cheaper versions. It’s worked for lots of European clubs for a long time and we could do the same. I like what les reed is doing in his interviews and raising the profile of the club, because now across Europe, young players will be tempted to join us as that “showcase club” that he refers to…and why not, our record of bringing players on and getting them big moves is second to none. Look at all the talent someone like Ajax sell. Now they’re a big name who can always attract the new crop of players. We’re not quite there yet but I guess that’s our goal. If it works I’ll be happy and this season is a good one for testing that. Was last season just a bit of luck or is this master plan working?

my worry is that ever since I’ve supported saints something has gone wrong and it’s been going too well to too long so we’re bound to fall flat on our arse and end up in the shit soon enough.


Don’t suppose you could give me a clue, could you Furball, so that I could get it too?

It’s one of the collected sayings of a certain Austrian mountain enthusiast and heffalump.


I stayed in a crappy B&B in the Alpine region once upon a time :laughing:

Ah yes, of course.

Good o’ Alps - possibly the most frequently quoted poster in SFC history.


Alps is like the collective sub-conscious of Saints fans.

We may be 4-0 up at half time but like Alps, you know we’re going to fuck it up and lose 5-4.

Just because we haven’t done it for a while doesn’t mean that it’s easy to avoid that mindset.

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