THE HIGH rate of manager turnovers this season is indicative of a culture of “short-termism” among clubs, according to Millwall boss Neil Harris.
Mark Robins became the latest casualty when he was sacked by Scunthorpe this week after a 5-0 loss to Blackpool – two months after being named Sky Bet League One manager of the month for October.
Robins’ Scunthorpe had lost just three times in nine games, one of them a creditable performance against Chelsea in the FA Cup third round.
But that wasn’t enough for Iron chairman, Peter Swann, whose decision meant Robins became the ninth League One manager to lose his job this season. Swann said Robins had failed to “gel the side”, and added: “The way (Scunthorpe) capitulated (at Blackpool) was not acceptable.”
Millwall have churned through their fair share of managers – fifteen in the last 15 years – and asked if the casualty rate this season surprised him, Harris said: “Nothing surprises me in football. How many clubs are about short-termism? How many businesses would run with that mindset?
“That’s the reality in the life of a football manager. It was certainly a consideration for me in taking the position. I have to be confident in my ability but also trust the football club and my staff.
“Someone said to me about guarantees in football: You get sacked or you move on.
“It’s the same as life really.”
Harris, however, believes that the current Millwall is operating with a different set of values.
He explained: “We’re hoping that we have a plan here that looks at the long term and that’s not just about me – that’s about the whole football club.
“We’ve got a structure that we want to follow and we want to continue and ultimately we want to get out of this division, we want to be playing in the Championship.
“Would we like to do it by the end of May? Yeah, of course I would. But there’s so much we’ve got to get right on and off the field before we can go out on the field on a Saturday and just churn out results.”