I am surprised to see fans (who had supported the hiring of a particular coach) want the coach sacked in 6 months. It happened with Strama, now Mazzarri... Does it ever make sense? Perhaps in 2 scenarios it may make sense to change a coach mid-season in his first season:
1. If you are in danger of relegation. Which we are not.
2. If its looking like the club will miss out on their season's objective (eg: CL qualification), and its still possible to achieve it. Lets face it, we are already out of that race.
So lets get this out of the way, a mid-season change in coach for Inter at the moment would be a silly thing to do. Because there is no incentive for it (see above), and there are some dis-incentives, namely:
1. Cost: The cost of breaking a contract is directly proportional to the length of the remaining contract - ie, the earlier you sack a coach, the more you pay. Or in practical terms, we will anyway have to pay Mazzarri for the remaining months this season.
2. Chaos: Self explanatory, we know what happens when you change the tactics/direction every 6 months.
3. Options: We will have much better options for new coach at the end of the season than in mid-season. Specially in a world cup year.
While I was never in favour of hiring Mazzarri in the first place, even I will admit that sacking him mid-season is not a sensible option. IMO Thohir has two sensible options, and it depends on his vision and financial appetite which one is best:
Option 1: The Expensive Way
-> Hire Top Coach this summer
-> Give him a big budget to get 3-4 quality players
-> Target CL qualification next season to boost revenues in 2015-16
If Thohir has the funds to support our losses for 2-3 years, this is a faster way to success. This summer, we will have a lot of players who will be out of contract, creating space in the wage bill. We will also have some quality players and coaches available after the World Cup. Technically, we can re-invest the savings to get a top coach, and a 3-4 quality players, and aim for CL qualification next season. This would mean that Inter will take at least 2-3 years to become a profitable club (assuming our revenues do increase with CL and Thohir's far east marketing), and Thohir will have to make good our losses till then. The danger here is that we will be walking a fine line with FFP and risk getting thrown out of Europe. So the pluses and minuses of this strategy are as follows:
+ Shorter path to success
+ Earlier CL qualification
+ Easier to market Inter abroad
- Bigger risk of failure
- Expensive, FFP risk
Option 2: The Hard Way
-> Focus on cutting wage bill / operating costs in next 2 years
-> Keep Mazzarri for the time being
-> Build gradually
Use this summer to cut our wage bill and reduce our operating costs in line with our declining revenues. Then build gradually - increase revenues, improve squad, increase competitiveness - all step by step. Focus every transfer window on buying just 1-2 quality players. It may take 2 seasons to qualify for the CL, a slow and painful period for fans. But with financial prudence, we could start to break-even financially in a season or two. Marketing the club far east will be tougher, but can be done (buy some asian youth talents, etc). The quality of our squad could improve gradually, in line with our revenue growth. In 2-3 years once our revenue has grown and we qualify for CL, we could again become a club which can challenge for silverware. And that would be the time we hire a top coach and spend some big money. The pluses and minuses of this approach:
+ Economically more prudent, link expenditure to revenues
+ FFP compliant
+ Less risk of failure - longer period to correct mistakes
- Will be unpopular with fans
- Will take longer to challenge for silverware
- Will be harder (and take longer) to increase revenues
There will be huge implementation challenges in either option, though less financial risk in option 2.
1. Firing Mazzarri mid-season (specially when we have no chance of making the CL) makes no sense at all.
2. Thohir needs to decide his strategy, and commit to it.
3. Either way, we need to get our implementation right to succeed - it won't be easy to get back to where we were.