In February 2012, the CA chief executive James Sutherland pointed out that Australia’s players would have been paid the same amount if they had lost 4-0 at home to India, rather than winning by the same margin as they did. “No one likes change but we’re really confident we’ve got a proposition that’s in the interests of the Australian players and the players who do the work and win the games,” he said. “Players get paid the same amount if we win four-nil against India or we lose four-nil. Does that make sense to all of us?”
Are you aware if other sports teams have performance based contracts? Personally, it makes a lot of sense and should be the way to go. I think this move by Australian Cricket Board will be revolutionary.
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Yesterday I had a crazy experience about so called secured and never sleeping city called – Mumbai. Was driving back home in my usual course from office and was having usual traffic experience on the street. This gets usually complemented by never ending work of roads, flyover, wired networks and what not. Fast moving life of Mumbai turns extremely slow when you drive in this city on so called Highways where speed never crosses 30km/hr. While having this usual traffic experience, a long, humongous Red colored creature started getting close to me.
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8-2 is probably the most famous football score line I have come across in the recent past. But to those who have started watching football and become Manchester United in the last 2 weeks, there is more to the man who was responsible for the entertainment provided that evening. 12 Premier league titles, 5 FA cups, 4 Carling cups, 10 Community shields, 2 Champions league titles, 1 UEFA cup winner’s cup, 1 UEFA super cup, 1 Intercontinental cup, 1 FIFA club world cup and 25 years (and still counting) managing the biggest football club in the world are facts that still do not do justice to this man. He is a management institution – a leadership role model.
His man management is probably the quality that stands out the most. He has been able to connect with different generations and earn the respect of his players. Footballers, known to attract tabloid and controversies, are probably the toughest employees to manage. With the amount of money involved in the game, players look to switch clubs in a manner similar to the way employees flip jobs at corporates. His negotiation skills and flexibility in such matters have been fantastic. Knowing when to keep a lid on one’s ego is one thing I have personally learnt from him. He has been able to use the media and his position to his advantage to keep players at the club. Taking the whole Wayne Rooney incident last year for example; he was able to convince a player, ready to leave the club due to its inability to compete in the transfer window, to stay back. Rooney is probably the happiest player at the club today.
His succession planning is another thing that impresses me. Knowing when a player is fading away and who can best replace him is very important. He does not shy away from investing in young players. He has built more than 5 teams in the past from scratch. He focuses on buying players who suit the club’s style of play. A great recruiter and an even better administrator of trainers and coaches. I have also noticed that he always keeps a few experience players in the squad. These are guys who have seen it all and understand the culture and values of the club. It’s all good to hire MBAs, but without some experienced staff, I feel an MBA will still be rendered useless.
The man has withstood a variety of competition in his career. From the might of Liverpool and Arsenal to the riches of Chelsea and Manchester City, he withstood it all. I think resilience and the ability to face challenging times are two traits that have emerged to be of high importance in the last five years. He has proven that by hanging in there and getting the basics right consistently, one can survive any sort of turmoil. Yes, he manages one of the biggest clubs in Europe with a great brand value. But the club has faced huge debt problems after the LBO (done by Malcom Glazer in 2005). He had been forced to sell some of his top players to create cash in order to pay down the debt. But his will to succeed has always carried him through.
“You have got to find a way to affect people’s lives through motivation. But you have to have players who can be motivated. Some people can just melt.” Alex Ferguson.
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Being a finance professional, I have been often asked the question “what value do you guys create?” These engineers, lawyers, doctors claim a recognizable value-add to civilization and its evolution, and thereby question the contribution to the world from my “kind”. While it is true that the services offered by these professionals are more direct (and therefore measurable), I have often wondered what do us finance professionals – bankers, investors, consultants & advisors – do.
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As Washington was abuzz with congressmen debating the debt ceiling, the markets had already given its verdict – after so much of political wrangling, the US was more likely to lose its coveted AAA rating than it had ever been in history. S&P’s statement confirms this, when it says that “…the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges …”
So what will be the impact of a US downgrade?
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