8:00am Thursday 1st May 2014
DAVID Flitcroft has been in football long enough to understand the day-to-day pressures of the job, both as a player and as a coach, but he hinted this week that management takes it to another level.
As an outsider looking in, I am sure every Bury supporter would agree he seems to be doing a fantastic job.
But the majority of the work done by a football manager goes unnoticed and as the season winds down to a close that other workload – away from matchday and the training pitch – really does come to the fore.
He gave an insight into that juggling act in his post-match press conference on Saturday, running through the list of jobs to do, which included organising the summer recruitment process and boxing off the pre-season programme.
But chief among the grisly jobs has to be sorting out the retained list – deciding which players to offer new contracts to and which to release.
Some players go into that meeting knowing they have fallen out of favour. They are the easy ones to deal with as they have probably already been looking at alternatives.
But some players will have no inkling about the bad news coming their way.
I remember going into Billy McNeill’s office after four years at Manchester City with my speech already prepared, expecting to convince him why I deserved a pay rise from £85 to £120 a week.
When Billy told me he was releasing me, the bottom literally fell out of my world.
Ultimately, it was the best thing that ever happened to me as I ended up moving to Bury and learning what being a proper footballer was all about.
But at the time I was devastated.
Letting a young player go is tough, but they have time to recover. Having that talk with a player at the tail end of his career can be even harder.
Looking at the list of players Flickers will be having that chat with, you realise how tough this week could be for him.
I have already gone on record as saying Brian Jensen deserves another year, but you just don’t know the way the manager wants to go.
Experienced players like Chris Sedgwick, Tommy Miller and Clive Platt are all fantastic professionals who can still do a job for Bury at this level.
They have also shown this season they can help bring the younger players through, but David may want to go down a completely different route.
These are all massive decisions, which will have a far-reaching impact on Bury’s next season, but this is why Flickers became a manager and what he gets paid to do.
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