Case 1: Changing HR management at Bolton Wanderers football club
In 1999 Sam Allardyce was appointed as manager of Bolton Wanderers Football Club (BWFC). His strategic objective was a daunting one: to achieve promotion from the then First Division to the premier League and to stay there. However, the club was saddled with a heavy debt burden caused by the development of the Reebok, a new, state-of-the-art football stadium. Tight fiscal controls meant that they did not have ability to follow the dominant trend of paying huge sums to attract the best players to a relatively unfashionable club, so an alternate strategy was required in order to achieve their objective. By the 2004 – 5 season Bolton were not only enjoying their fourth consecutive season within the premiership but were playing in the UEFA cup, thus attaining their dream of ‘getting into Europe’. Key to their success was the operation of distinctively different strategy from that of their competitors concerning the management of people and how they invested in and maximized their potential (Gilmore and Gilson 2007).
Whilst they still had to offer a pay and reward package to players and coaching staff that was not too far removed from the industry standard, these cost were some of the lowest in the premiership. A substantial investment was made in the operation of cutting-edge sports science: diet, fitness, coaching methods, the use of sports psychology, and the extensive use of performance measures. These allowed coaching and exercise staff to measure and assess every aspect of player performance, collectively and individually. To ensure the consistent stream of home-grown talent for use within the first team, or sale to other clubs, their scouting network and academy facilities were expanded so that recruitment could take place within an increasingly global talent pool as well as the local community. This means that a good percentage of first-team players came from the ranks of the academy...
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