Monday, December 28, 2009

Spain Extends Coach Two Years ... Why?

Feliz Navidad, Vicente del Bosque.

Two days before Christmas, Spain rewarded its coach with a two-year extension on his contract, taking him through 2012.

Which is a bit curious, and leaves me pondering these questions:

1. Is that a guaranteed contract? Does del Bosque get the money no matter what happens to him? Say, a sudden collapse by his team and subsequent firing?

2. If so, why?

3. He reportedly was getting $2.2 million a year. Did he get a raise on that in the next two years, after Spain went unbeaten in European qualifying? Is the entire value of his contract up to Fabio Capello money ($10 million a year) yet?

4. If not, why not?

5. And what prompted Spain to guarantee money (or go through the show of extending a contract that isn't guaranteed) before the World Cup? Is Espana going to buck the trend and, if it doesn't win a championship that it is co-favored to win (along with Brazil) ... smile and say, "no problem, Vicente. We're sticking with you."

Most federations consider anything but an advance to the knockout round to be a failure ... and sack the coach.

Some of the elite nations consider anything short of the semifinals a failure ... and sack the coach.

And for those special elite nations expected to play for a championship (Brazil, Spain, maybe England), anything short of the finals is going to be considered a failure ... and the coach is sacked.

So, I just don't get it.

Maybe if it's a contract that del Bosque gets only if he doesn't get fired ... you know, like NFL contracts, that are worth millions unless you get cut ... then it makes sense. Otherwise, no.

OK, I've thought of the only way this makes sense.

Let's say Spain wins the World Cup ... well, Spain has their now massively brilliant coach already under contract through the Euro Cup (which isn't far behind the World Cup, to Euro nations), and doesn't have to give him even more money (post Jules Rimet Trophy) than they just did.

OK. That makes sense.
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