Nothing, they say, succeeds like failure, and in the world of football management, where a inept coach can be amply rewarded for his shortcomings, this seems particulary true.
Take Roberto Martinez, who was sacked by Everton after back-to-back seasons of underachievement, but who has received compensation of more than £10million from the club.
Lawyers on behalf of the Premier League club, attempted to negotiate a reduced figure with Martinez’s legal team, but a clause in his contract meant the former Wigan boss was paid in full for the remaining three years of his deal — which added up to nearer £12m.
In the end an agreement was reached after an independent hearing in London at between £10m and £11m.
Martinez, who after an impressive first season in charge which saw the club finish fifth and break their Premier League record points total, was rewarded with a new long-term deal that protected both the club and Martinez. In the end, it only protected Martinez.
If another club wanted him, they would have to pay up the remainder of his contract in compensation to Everton. But, conversely, if Martinez was sacked before the deal expired in July 2019, the club would have to pay him the full amount, too.
At the time, Everton chairman Bill Kenwright was convinced that the highly-rated Martinez was building an enduring legacy at Everton.
“In many commentators’ eyes, Roberto Martinez is the best young manager in Europe,” Kenwrightg said at the time. “We agree.
“He took on an unfamiliar challenge for most managers, to take something really good and make it better. He has succeeded.
“In his debut season he broke our Premier League record points haul, got us back into Europe and developed some of the most exciting young footballers in the game.
“He conducts himself off the pitch in the same way. He undertakes his business with great style, confidence, positivity and class.
“He is an Everton man. We commit to our managers and we’re pleased that Roberto has committed to us.”
After succeeding the long-serving David Moyes in 2013, Martinez took Everton took fifth place in his first season, but that campaign turned out to be the high point of his tenure. The following year Everton finished 11th, their worst position in nine years, and matters did not improve last season with the club again languishing in 11th.
The Spaniard may have struggled to put together a winning football team, but his legal team, led by Manchester-based sports lawyer Chris Farnell, was first class.
In the end, Martinez agreed to a slight reduction to the amount owed in exchange for the sum being paid in one lump sum.
Last month, he was appointed the new coach of the Belgium national side. Showing once again that the in the world of football, the stench of failure does not linger too long.