It's a sensible idea that most European clubs have been doing for decades. It's only in Britain were it's considered to be an evil concept.
That clears a lot of questions I had on the manager/DOF scenario.
I'm still not convinced there is a role though. I'm a believer in everything revolving around the first team. Whatever needs to happen to bring success to the first team needs to happen. The rest, profit etc should look after itself with good management.
What makes me fearful of the DOF / Manager Concept is the relationship between the two has to be brilliant. If it isn't and they don't both share exactly the same vision it is obvious that problems will arise.
Hypothetically speaking, we get Martinez in as coach and van Gaal as DOF. The blueprint for our formation and style of play is already in place. Let us say we operate in 4-4-2 and it becomes apparent we need a right winger. van Gaal shortlists 3 very good £20m wingers but Martinez, having managed winger "A" and faced him on numerous occasions on an opposing team wants winger "A" at a much cheaper cost.
Who rules the roost in this instance?
Martinez gets his way and signs winger "A". Naturally van Gaal is perplexed about this and when winger "A" suffers in his first season, would it not be in van Gaal's interest to brush off all responsibility for the signing? There could be a million and one reasons why winger "A" hasn't bedded in but if I'm van Gaal then I might want to be pointing the finger of blame at Martinez for signing him and ignoring my
van Gaal gets his way and all 3 £20m wingers sit down with the club. van Gaal makes his preference known but Martinez is dubious of all 3's ability and suggests not to sign any of them. We sign one and he is diabolical. Again, there may be numerous reasons for this but Martinez will be inclined to shirk all responsibility for the signing. It might be that Martinez has coached the winger poorly - it might be that he is poor.
You see, that is were responsibilities suddenly become very murky unless that relationship is based on 100% trust and belief and supported to the end by the Directors.
Rafa Benitez is one of the best tactical coach of players I have ever seen. Why is it that Rafa wanted to have his own targets? Because he knew that it was his neck on the block if the signing was poor.
If the manager has the final say in transfers then is a DOF nothing more than a pimped up scout?
For me, it is a role that has been engineered into football. There are too many contradictions in what people interpret as its defining role. If I'm a manager and my cock is on the block then I want my people around me performing not what someone else 'thinks'.