We still often hear the claim that the most important figure in a football club should be the manager.
But this is definitely not apparent if we compare the financial costs for managers and players. Even with the coaches of the highest repute, the sums for their attraction and penalty remain too modest compared to those for footballers.
Will the situation change soon?
Buyout clauses in coaches’ contracts are growing, but it’s not clear how they will approach those of football stars.
However, last year saw a record transfer fee paid for a manager, and in recent days the sharp changes at Chelsea have made new boss Graham Potter No.2 in this ranking.
Here is the current top 6 of the most expensively bought coaches in football history so far:
6. Jose Mourinho
The peak of the legendary Portuguese’s career came in 2010 when he led Inter to the club’s first treble, knocking out Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona en route to Champions League triumph.
This convinced Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to take him to the Bernabeu and pay to break his contract with Inter.
From today’s point of view, the sum seems more than modest – 8 million euros, especially given that Mourinho was then the biggest name in the profession.
Perez introduced the Portuguese as “this year’s Galactico”, but Mou’s time in Madrid did not quite go to plan, despite winning the Spanish title in 2012.
5. Reuben Amorim
The former Benfica midfielder with 14 caps for the Portugal national team retired from football in his early 30s and went straight into coaching.
He didn’t have to spend long in charge of Braga (less than three months) to convince Sporting Lisbon to sign him for €10m in March 2020.
With Braga, he achieved 10 wins in 13 games, but even so, the hasty appointment at the Portuguese giants caused some consternation.
So far, it seems that the investment has been well worth it, as Sporting became champions for the 2020/21 season and grabbed their first title in 19 years.
A second place finish followed in 2021/22, and the start to the new season has not been convincing and the Lions are tenth in the table.
4. Brendan Rodgers
The Northern Irishman achieved great things with Celtic but passed up the chance to grab a second straight treble and take the club’s back-to-back titles to 10.
He opted to return to the Premier League and take charge of Leicester at the height of the 2018/19 season.
The operation cost the “foxes” 10.5 million euros, but they were wisely spent. Rodgers transformed Claude Puel’s boring side into a modern, dynamic and very likeable squad that came extremely close to the top 4 in England for two consecutive seasons.
Rodgers brought Leicester the first FA Cup for the club.
This season, however, it looks like the fairytale is about to end, with the manager facing the sack after just one point from 6 games.
3. Andre Villas-Boas
In 2011, Chelsea paid as much as 15 million euros to Porto for the “new Mourinho”.
The sum was huge for a coach, but the Portuguese was also keen on the new big name in the profession, and the Londoners wanted to repeat the success of Mourinho himself at Stamford Bridge.
Just 9 months later, Chelsea paid a hefty fee to get rid of Villas-Boas, who, to put it mildly, did not live up to the expectations placed on him.
The manager turned out to have nothing in common with Mourinho and his career waned in the following years.
The paradox is that already in that season, when Villas-Boas was sacked by Chelsea, the “blues” became European champions for the first time under the leadership of interim coach Roberto Di Matteo.
2. Graham Potter
The current name in charge at Chelsea has built a reputation in recent years as one of England’s most capable managers and has achieved impressive things with Brighton.
The £15m the club paid the Seagulls to sign him looks paltry against the £250m spent on new players this summer.
It remains to be seen how far Potter is the right choice in the normally tense atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.
1. Julian Nagelsmann
In 2021, Bayern Munich had to give 25 million euros to RB Leipzig for the most renowned young coach in Germany.
The amount was a convincing record, and what is even more interesting is that it was a question of a specialist who was only 34 years old.
Nagelsmann is still thought to have the potential to remain in charge of the Bavarians for many years, although his first season was by no means spectacular.
In it, Bayern, as usual, won the Bundesliga, but was eliminated in the Champions League by Villarreal. More will certainly be expected of Nagelsmann this campaign.