Derby County – Our Plan For Progress
Last year Mel Morris spoke about re-writing his plan for Derby County and publishing as much of this as possible to the public domain. To date this plan has never materialised.
When Steve McClaren was first appointed and the Rams were winning regularly, nobody cared about Mel’s plan. However, with the team & the club once again rudderless, the topic of “the plan” has started to be raised again.
Whilst Mel gathers his thoughts, we’ve put together our own plan, which the club can have on us, with our compliments. Some are big issues, some minor, some serious, some not so much. Let us know your thoughts.
Team Management – Steve McClaren remains one of the best coaches in world football but remains an enigma as a manager and perhaps is now a little past his sell by date in this regard. We propose to promote Steve “upstairs” to oversee all footballing policy from the Academy U-7s to the first team, leverage his extensive contacts and to link the football operation to Sam and Mel. We will replace Steve with a young, hungry manager who will create a team in the image of himself. Examples are Gary Monk, Gary Rowett, David Wagner, Julian Nagelsmann of Hoffenheim etc.
Style of Play – The new coach will implement a new style of play that will not be mired with a particular formation but will be centred on core philosophies of pace, energy, organisation and technical ability. The team will aim to retain the ball as much as possible but will focus more on being effective with the ball and operating as a single cohesive unit or multiple small units who have set movement patterns for every scneario.
Recruitment – This is a key area of improvement and central to the future success of the team. The club should ultimately look to replicate successful models at clubs like Southampton and Udinese, however we accept that this takes time. Thus in the short term we will replicate the policy of Red Bull Leipzig who do not buy any players over the age of 24. We are willing to take a season of progression across three windows to build a new all action, young, hungry team who’s market value will soar. No player will ever be given a contract for more than 3 years. In season two, this new team will obliterate the Championship and then aim to finish top 10 in the Premier League immediately. Consideration should be given to making Nigel Clough head of recruitment although we would clearly need someone else to cover non UK markets.
Cup Competitions – Any manager who is deemed to have fielded a weakened or under strength team in a cup tie against a team of a similar or a higher level to Derby at the time of the game will be dismissed immediately.
U23 games – All U23 games will be free entry to all fans regardless of season ticket status. In addition, all U23 games, home and away, will be streamed on a new web channel where all fans, again regardless of season ticket status, can watch games online for £2 per game. Season packages will also be available.
Safe Standing – Derby County will accelerate investigation into Safe Standing with immediate effect. This will improve atmosphere and address the very un-safe standing we see at every match. We will be in the vanguard of English clubs pushing for this initiative and will rip the seats out of the South Stand as soon as we are able. We will also investigate “safe pyro” and see if this is feasible although we accept this maybe a long shot.
Matchday Drink – The existing bars which serve Piss for £4 a pint will be dispensed with and replaced by more Cask Shacks serving real ale from the keg and branded canned Lager and Cider for those who prefer that. The price of beer will be reduced as far as possible which, coupled with the increase in quality, will mean more sales and, of course, much more atmosphere in the ground. Refer German football for multiple successful implementations of this policy.
Matchday Food – Rather than make Greggs close on Matchday, we will do a deal with Greggs to install their outlets throughout the ground. Again better cheaper product for the fans will mean more people in the ground earlier, spending more money with the club as opposed to other vendors around the ground. Refer West Brom who have made a mega sized Greggs the centre piece of their fanzone.
Matchday Music – All forms of soft rock, soft metal and bloated 80’s anthems will be banned from the ground with immediate effect. The music policy will focus on House Anthems, Dance Bangers and vibrant young people’s music like Stormzy. Occasional Indie classic are of course allowed but any Pride Park DJ who mentions the words “Dagger”, “Chelsea”, “Ed” or “Sheeran” will be dismissed immediately.
Matchday Program – Reduce the size and quality of the program but make it £1 or £2 tops. Re-introduce the concept of the “centre fold” player poster. Kids will buy them in droves and Dad will read it to justify the spend. Clearly flood it with incentives to get to the ground early and spend loads of money on Beer and Greggs!
Derby County Kit – the club will stop arsing around with second tier brands with immediate effect. We will invite Nike and Adidas to pitch for a 10 year contract to be DCFC kit provider. We will also dispense with the policy of incorporating colours that are “a bit different” (read a bit shit) and our change strips every season will be variants on an all black strip and a yellow one. In the first season these two will purposely copy Dortmund and one will be black with yellow trim with the other being yellow with black trim. Going forward there will be regular variants on the classic Columbia away and the epic Premier league Black Adidas away kit.
Derby County Leisurewear – On the basis of our partnership with Nike or Adidas, teamwear will fly out the shop. However, it has long been acknowledged that Rams leisure wear outside of teamwear is low quality shite that you wouldn’t wash your car in. As such we will invite several known brands of mid range leisurewear with links to football culture to be our partner in this area. Examples would be Peaceful Hooligan, Weekend Offender, Ben Sherman, Fila, Marshall Artist etc. This would be ground breaking and massively mutually beneficial. We will pilot with a few items and then expand as the sales take off.
Main Sponsorship – Acknowledging how distasteful and inappropriate the association with Just Eat has been, the club will introduce a new ethical partners policy. A list will be drawn of specific companies and industries that we do not wish to be associated with. Once the final decision has been made internally on any new main kit sponsor, the club will hold dialogue with key supporters groups to road test the agreement, prior to humiliating its fanbase for three years. As penance for the Just Eat fiasco, we will also advertise a chosen charity on both arms free of charge each season for the next 10 years.
End of Manifesto.
Derby County – Feel free to use as much of this as you wish. You know it makes sense.
Come On You Rams!