Friday, 30 September 2011

What would you do about Carlos Tevez?

The (alleged!) refusal of Manchester City footballer Carlos Tevez to play against Bayern Munich on Tuesday evening has attracted a significant amount of press attention, with a great deal of it focusing on the question of what can be done when such players decide that they are more important than the club itself.

Just to put things in context, Tevez is ranked at No. 7 in the tables of World’s Highest Paid Players, earning an estimated £6.7 million per year. That’s over £128,000 per week to you and me. Gulp.

But does the salary, or even the unquestionable skill of Tevez justify him being a law unto himself?

To answer that. let’s look at the views of another sporting superstar, that of Ethiopian long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie. He’s won two Olympic gold medals at 10,000 metres and also has World Championship titles at that distance. He’s won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively and also broken more world records than I’ve had hot dinners. (OK, it’s actually only a mere 27, but I’m sure that you get the point)

Interviewed on Radio 4 this week, Gebrselassie was asked how he’d come to be so successful. His response was revealing:
Training, discipline and commitment. I run 160 miles a week. It’s my job.
His answer mirrored that of Jonathan Edwards (whose triple jump world record set in 1995 still stands) when questioned by Michael Parkinson alongside David Beckham. Parkinson asked Edwards if he was jealous of the amount of money Beckham earned in comparison to himself. Edwards responded:
I think that I get paid pretty well for what I do, which is basically to jump into a sandpit. It’s a job.
For some reason, those fortunate enough to enjoy the riches of the world of football seems to have forgotten that they are still in an employment relationship. What they do is a job.

What would you do if an employee refused to obey a reasonable management instruction? You’d discipline then. What did Manchester City Manager Mancini actually ask Tevez to do on Tuesday? To warm up and go on the pitch and knock a ball around. To do his job. So why all the “What Is To Be Done” soul searching?

So here’s a challenge to all you HR professionals out there? What would you do about Tevez?

1 comment:

  1. He wouldn't tell me, "No." Then again, I wouldn't have hired him in the first place! ;D