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Article

(Un)Sustainable Human Resource Management in Brazilian Football? Empirical Evidence on Coaching Recruitment and Dismissal

Department of Sports Science, Bielefeld University, Universitaetsstr. 25, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Christopher Hautbois and Michel Desbordes
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7319; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127319
Received: 26 April 2022 / Revised: 12 June 2022 / Accepted: 13 June 2022 / Published: 15 June 2022

Abstract

A superficial attitude in football insists on blaming head coaches when games are lost. Controversially, however, whereas decision-makers in professional football clubs claim to seek successful outcomes on the pitch, they often favor questionable judgements that affect their organizational sustainability by recycling coaches without substantial analyses. Albeit scholars have stressed potential causes and consequences of coaching turnovers, specific knowledge is needed around the recruitment and dismissal steps faced by professional coaches, and to what extent their experiences mirror the theoretical background of human resource management in sport. This study poses the following research question: how do football clubs actually handle coaching recruitment and dismissal processes? Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 26 elite coaches from Brazil, who had collectively been employed by all 43 clubs that participated in the Brasileirão from 2003 to 2020. Based on a deductive-inductive approach, the content analysis framed two categories (recruitment and dismissal stages) with three main themes (methods, decision-makers, and decision-making), which were sustained by specific subthemes. The results suggest how the recruitment, assessment, and replacement of head coaches neglect both a strategic and a sustainable rationale towards human resource management in Brazil’s elite football.
Keywords: career; employment; labor market; leadership; organizational behavior; personnel; professional sport; soccer coach; sustainable development career; employment; labor market; leadership; organizational behavior; personnel; professional sport; soccer coach; sustainable development

1. Introduction

Within a progressive sport environment, coaches are recognized as key-relevant leaders who work to improve athletic performance and team behavior in line with their contextual setting [1]. In professional football, nevertheless, head coaches experience a particular scenario of higher unemployment risks due to a speculative hire-and-fire mentality which underestimates their coaching expertise [2,3]. When it comes to evaluating the football leader, a coach who was deemed a hero yesterday may suddenly be transformed into a villain today merely because of negative game results [4]. Notwithstanding, given that frequent changes of leadership personnel lead to organizational instability [5,6,7], football clubs may endanger their performance improvement due to constant within-season turnover decisions. Consequently, the social [8,9], organizational [10], and economic [11] sustainability of football clubs tend to be compromised depending on how managerial decisions are taken, such as when employers opt for consecutive personnel replacements based on superficial analyses.
While guiding internal decision-making without transparent data and duty of care [12], football organizations possibly risk the sustainable development of their own stakeholders. To identify whether the organizational behavior in football clubs value head coaches as sustainable human resources, their recruitment and dismissal processes need to be explored. Examining these practices allows capturing how head coaches are selected, employed, and dismissed. Moreover, it may reveal if the decision-makers who are responsible for changing coaches actually work in favor of their football clubs’ organizational sustainability [10,12]. After all, if an immediate personnel change occurs, the situation may indicate a setback originating from the recruitment process previously carried out by the decision-makers themselves [13,14].
Scholars have already examined potential causes and consequences of sport coaching turnovers across different countries and leagues [15,16,17,18]. Specifically, the Brazilian top tier (popularly known as Brasileirão) has been revealed as a volatile football league for head coaches to work, whereby within-season tenures have lasted on average only 65 days. While coaching replacements are triggered within a speculative window of three to four games due to score differences and performance expectations, signs of actual improvements have been identified only seven games after coaching changes occur [19], which resonate how coaches vulnerably loop around frequent turnovers in Brazil. To illustrate such reality, Figure 1 displays the number of individual coaching names working in the first tier, as well as the volatility of effective and interim turnovers that took place across 18 seasons exclusively during the Brasileirão.
This study aims to generate an in-depth revelation of how professional football coaches are hired and fired in reality, which may contribute to advance the theoretical knowledge about human resource management practices in elite sports. Therefore, the present research asks the following question: how do football clubs in Brazil actually handle coaching recruitment and dismissal processes? This research question is answered using qualitative data from interviews with 26 elite coaches who had collectively been employed by all 43 professional clubs that participated in the Brasileirão from 2003 to 2020.
Brazil was selected as the research context to address the unsustainable vulnerability of elite coaches in professional football. Within the sport, the country represents a powerhouse of talented players, featuring the only national team that has participated in all FIFA World Cup editions up to date. Yet, Brazilian football coaches constantly deal with higher turnover rates in comparison to similar European and South American leagues [19]. In a systematic review about the coaching science literature exclusively produced in Brazil between 2000 and 2015, Galatti et al. [20] exposed that 24% of domestic studies were football-related, yet Brazilian scholars could benefit from further exploring the accumulated experience and outcomes of Brazil’s coach system to foster an international debate about the professional development of sport coaches. As outlined by Ricci et al. [21], football has a great deal of symbolic value in Brazil, resonating a social, economic, and political field dominated by disputes over power and capital, with particular legislative tensions.
Specifically, the football coaching profession has been sanctioned since 1993 under federal legislation (Law 8650/1993) [22], although its binding terms were just briefly instituted at the time of its official decree. Despite the introduction of a federal sport law later in 1998 (Law 9615/1998) [23], which has already gone through multiple amendments, professional football coaches still have to deal with an outdated legal framework backing up their activities. Since 2014, however, a new federal law project (registered as PL 7560/2014) [24] has proposed important updates in terms of the employability and labor conditions for football coaches in Brazil, including requirements for a certified coaching formation, a minimal length of six months for contractual duration, the right to indemnity whenever agreements are breached, and insurance coverage linked to the profession. As of 2022, a revised version of the 2014 proposal still awaits further political rounds of approval between the Brazilian congress and senate, which compose the government’s legislative branch, thus delaying the implementation of norms that may safeguard the football coaching profession in the domestic territory.

2. Theoretical Framework and Literature Review

2.1. Human Resource Management in Sport

Researchers have highlighted how coaches’ experiences and effectiveness are heavily influenced by the organizational practices of a sport institution [25,26,27,28], which may encourage the adoption of human resource management as a strategic means to optimize personnel selection and leadership succession in elite football clubs. Taylor et al. [14] argue that human resource planning for senior leadership and critical roles within sport organizations should involve the identification of prospective candidates, followed by training and development programs that are intended to facilitate the succession process. Kerwin [29] agrees that different strategies may be adopted, whether to enhance the skills, motivation, or opportunities of potential employees, but sport managers must provide training and orientation to reduce turnover in the workplace. Furthermore, communication must be consistent during recruitment, training, and evaluation to avoid unexpected misjudgments and incoherent organizational behavior.
While human resource management emerges as a broader field of study, this research is specifically framed on an in-depth understanding around the processes of recruitment and selection, as well as termination of employment, whose lenses may shed a light on the entry and exit stages experienced by elite coaches in professional football. Upon entering the landscape of human resources, nonetheless, the actual hiring and firing of professional coaches remain largely unknown, as scholars have concentrated on the recruitment and retention of voluntary coaches and youth-related personnel instead [26,28,30,31].

2.1.1. Recruitment and Selection Process

The recruitment process is the first step observed in the employer–employee relationship, whereby both parties start interacting with each other [32,33]. When searching for candidates to fill a vacant position, recruiters tend to generate a pool of applicants who may be screened, interviewed, tested, or assessed through different mechanisms, originating a well-structured selection process. By selecting qualified candidates who match the available role while also fitting into the internal culture, decision-makers engaged in human resource management consequently assist the organization to meet its strategic goals [14]. Yet, within sport, a minority of organizations have implemented formal human resource management systems to strategically guide their personnel operations [28]. While candidates’ selection has been linked to short-term goals and their availability to work in the voluntary sector [30], job-related, social, and competitive factors contribute to the recruitment of elite sport coaches [34]. Hence, Kerwin [29] emphasizes how imperative it is for sport managers to understand the basic functions of recruiting, managing, and developing personnel in order to ensure human resources are leveraged to achieve the strategic competitive advantage aimed by their sport organizations.
Based on the human resource planning articulated by Taylor et al. [14], as soon as the opportunity arises and a new position is vacant, a replacement is needed, or a succession event is anticipated, sport managers should first analyze the role itself, examining its job specification, responsibilities, and expectations. In fact, novice and experienced coaches reported joining a sport organization with preconceived ideas of their own and the organization’s role [26]. With that in mind, it is important to first determine what kind of personnel and what common interests are expected from the recruiter’s perspective to ensure an appropriate level of synergy upfront [29].
Although selection methods may vary, recruitment techniques include, for example, standard and behaviorally based interviews, aptitude and cognitive ability tests, work samples, personality inventories, and the use of assessment centers [14]. Despite a theoretical foundation stimulating professional recruitment techniques, a sample of European handball and football coaches acknowledged the prevalence of informal mechanisms for international opportunities, raising awareness to the higher power of networking [35]. Parnell et al. [36] also revealed that sporting directors in English football rely mostly on strong social ties and individual trust when it is time to hire non-playing staff, limiting their recruitment through closed networks and subjective biases. Specifically for higher-skilled jobs whose roles and responsibilities are more complex, multi-dimensional, and less well-defined, as in the case of elite football coaches, the recruitment and selection process becomes even more complicated for the employer, and the risk of witnessing a turnover increases right away if the hiring decision fails to identify an effective employer–employee match [32,33]. In such scenario, candidates must be assessed not only based on their individual attributes and performance differences, but also in terms of their potential interaction with the existing personnel that already belong to the organization, as well as with the internal and external environment surrounding the job.

2.1.2. Termination of Employment

Even though substantial effort, training, and resources can be dedicated to building and maintaining the employer–employee relationship over time, an eventual turnover may still occur regardless of how long the employee has been working for the organization [32,33]. Termination of employment may happen due to a dismissal, a resignation, or even a retirement decision. In the reality of professional football, nevertheless, Nissen and Wagner [3] exposed how powerful alliances among stakeholders tend to outmaneuver the head coach during adversity, opting for a dismissal as a standardized solution in the face of poor team performance or negative results. Notwithstanding, around higher-skilled positions which require an extensive degree of firm-specific knowledge, the employer cannot quickly and seamlessly replace a departed employee who holds a distinct level of human capital [32,33]. Considering replacements among elite football coaches in England, Hughes et al. [5] argued that such a disruption to routines and structures can create instability, further deteriorating performance with constraints in resource allocation and behavior, since new coaches exacerbate the information asymmetry as they enter with little firm-specific knowledge, delaying their impact on performance.
Given its contextual nature, exploring the reasons and conditions underlying a turnover may help prevent additional resignation or dismissal events [2,37]. For example, if an employee voluntarily resigns from the role within a sport organization, an exit interview or a personal survey may be helpful tools to determine why this individual chose to terminate the working relationship [14]. Opposed to what human resource management entails, Bentzen et al. [38] revealed how Norwegian football coaches experience a lack of transparency and clear feedback concerning the actual causes of their dismissals, acknowledging the influence of micro-politics behind unrealistic performance expectations. Nissen [39] captured how power ratios fluctuate according to team results in Danish football, as internal and external sources of pressure seem to damage both the coach-director relationship and the coach’s future within the club. Similarly, Kelly and Harris [27] identified levels of hostility and distrust affecting football coaches in their connection with directors and owners in England and Ireland, particularly because of interferences in issues linked to the coaching role (i.e., team affairs, lineup decisions, players’ selection). Such a stressful environment has been confirmed by Olympic coaches in the United States [25] and in Great Britain [40], as they appraised how successful coaching performance is essentially linked to strategic planning and support networks. Moreover, Rocha et al. [41] highlighted the political background influencing coaching tenure in the Brazilian football league, whereby club directors minimize the effects of poor performance on their board’s reputation by reducing their trust in head coaches. In Germany, Orlowski et al. [42] and Wicker et al. [43] identified that working conditions, income, and job stability can be decisive aspects to increase coaching retention and minimize labor migration at the elite level, thus decreasing the occurrences of employment termination.

2.2. Synthesis

As it stands, decision-makers seem to approach head coaches as human resources purely from an availability perspective, randomly picking individuals whose profiles may not be necessarily in line with the organizational needs and offering them a short period of time to adapt before recycling them again [4,7,37]. Yet, despite the awareness of such an unsustainable scenario that prolongs coaching vulnerability, a research gap prevails around the actual human resource operations guiding the recruitment and dismissal of head coaches. Therefore, the present study listens to the voices of experienced coaches who have been consistently hired and fired (as well as resigned themselves in certain occasions) across their careers in an attempt to generate a more critical, profound, and substantiated revelation of human resource management in professional football clubs.

3. Methods

3.1. Sample Description

The interviewees involved in this study assembled 26 elite football coaches from Brazil (C1–C26 in chronological sequence of interviews). They ranged from 39 to 72 years old (M = 54) and accumulated 3102 official league games (M = 137) between 2003 and 2020 within their domestic territory. Altogether, the group of interviewed coaches had already been employed by all 43 professional clubs that competed in the Brasileirão from 2003 to 2020. Table 1 outlines these employers and their official locations. Overall, this research gathered former participants and even winners who performed their coaching duties at national, international, continental, Olympic, and World Cup stages.
The interviewees were primarily approached relying on the first author’s professional contacts, strengthened by voluntary support from the Brazilian Federation of Football Coaches (known as FBTF) and additional referrals by the participants themselves. Hence, snowball sampling was used, as coaches were asked to recommend colleagues with experience at the highest level of Brazilian football. To assimilate a comprehensive sample of elite coaching names who had worked in the domestic territory thus far, efforts were made to invite participants from different backgrounds, prioritizing their level of expertise, and balancing the number of official games they had carried out while being employed within the national league. The single criterion for participation was that the coach must have been appointed for an effective coaching spell at least once in the Brasileirão since 2003.

3.2. Ethical Procedure

Respecting the sensitive nature of the topic, as well as acting in a responsible manner to guarantee the anonymity of all elite coaches who were approached for this study, ethical considerations were treated as a paramount aspect throughout the research project. As an initial step, potential interviewees were exclusively contacted by the first author via telephone to anticipate the research purpose. Among all those who agreed to participate, a formal e-mail reinforced the rationale of the study, including a letter of consent, and individual access details for the online interview that was conveniently scheduled after a mutually agreed date. Before conducting each interview, participants were reminded about their voluntary consent and gave permission for the online interview to be digitally recorded for data analysis.

3.3. Data Collection

Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted on an individual basis by the first author through the university’s Zoom platform from 21 January to 16 April 2021. This type of interview allows the interviewees to benefit from their own experiential knowledge, which facilitates a more fluid conversation between the parties involved [44]. Since the present study belongs to a larger research project, the data presented here are part of specific passages which restrict the exact mentioning of responses’ duration. After an introduction about the research project and the attention given by the main researcher in regard to confidentiality, the interviewees were encouraged to talk about their recruitment and dismissal experiences in Brazil, providing examples from their own coaching background. The interview questions were conceptualized and formulated to reflect the literature on human resource management in sport. First, each participant was asked to elaborate on how they have been effectively hired during their careers. The initial question was: How does the hiring process actually happens at the elite level? Then, sequential follow-up questions were added: How are you usually approached by club officials? Who gets involved in the process? How are their hiring decisions taken? Later, the interviewees were asked about how they have been effectively dismissed during their careers. A straightforward yet open question was posed: How does the firing process actually happens? Similarly, follow-up questions were used to stimulate further details: Who is usually responsible for the firing? On which criteria are their firing decisions based? The interviews were originally carried out in Portuguese, transcribed verbatim, and translated into English.

3.4. Data Analysis

Initially, only the first author was involved in the data collection. The interviews were transcribed to written form (i.e., orthographic transcripts, using a self-developed transcription notation system whereby all participants were encrypted with a pseudonym from C1–C26) [45]. Due to the amount and length of interviews, member checks were not performed in the transcription process. According to Thomas [46], it is not clear whether such steps help to improve findings, especially when all interviewees agree to the usage of quotes in scientific publications. By applying a deductive–inductive approach, the data were then coded and analyzed by the authors on three gradual stages using a thematic analysis and the guidelines by Braun et al. [47] to ensure reliable results. The analysis was conducted with the MAXQDA software. In the first stage, the raw data were coded, and the categories were organized prioritizing a deductive, rule-based approach for the higher and lower order themes through existing research [45]. A structured codebook was used to ensure coding reliability [48]. In the second stage, two co-authors individually assigned the quotes, statements, and responses to the themes while respecting the coding rules. For the third stage, both researchers compared and further examined the differences between their assignments with discussions focused on achieving consensus and reducing any eventual degree of subjectivity. The coding system was extended in the third stage in accordance with an inductive approach [47]. This procedure was chosen to ensure inter-coder reliability [49]. To reinforce trustworthiness in the data, the third author contributed by reviewing each stage of the content analysis in order for the research team to reach a final consensus with the category system.

4. Results and Discussion

Table 2 presents the category system for football coaching recruitment and dismissal in Brazil. Thick descriptive quotes are applied when examining the themes, while individual quotations provide an in-depth picture of confidential testimonials [47,50,51].

4.1. Recruitment Stage

Within this stage, coaches reflected on the actual human resource practices used to hire them. They frequently reinforced how hiring approaches are “random” (C6, C8, C14, C19, C20, C21), as there is both a “lack of professionalism among club officials” (C4, C5, C7, C16, C18, C22) and an “absence of technical knowledge” (C11, C12, C15, C17) behind coaching recruitment and selection, thereby highlighting perceptions of a rather amateurish and unstructured human resource management process. Furthermore, they emphasized that “there is no process, nor planning, neither organization” (C3, C4, C12, C21) when it comes to hiring a head coach, as “club officials look for three or even four distinct profiles at the same time” (C6) to fill the coaching gap as soon as possible.
“Most of the time, a replacement occurs quickly because club officials have their ‘necks hanging’, as someone has just been fired and they urgently need a new coach. Therefore, they start spreading names and voting polls in the media.”
(C12)
For example, one coach disclosed signs of narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness due to social and political circles in Brazil’s elite football, which is a similar scenario posed by European coaches about foreign recruitment opportunities [35], and by the closed networks that exist in England [36]. He exemplified potential reasons that may help explain why Brazilian coaches are repeatedly hired through random ways:
“Hiring is based on networking, access of agents to clubs. It goes around connections, contacts, friendships with club officials. It happens without any criterion. We could claim that some clubs are not like that, but that would not be true at all.”
(C25)

4.1.1. Methods of Selection

Methods of selection indicate the selection techniques applied by decision-makers to professionally assess and hire coaching candidates. Nevertheless, persistent arguments confirmed that “there is no selection process” (C2, C12, C21) regardless of club location. While one coach claimed that he especially dislikes when “club officials want to negotiate a coaching job over lunch” (C25), the majority of coaches highlighted “there is no talk” (C1, C2, C5, C6) and “no interview” (C3, C14, C24, C25) in general, except for very few episodes, which differs from the professional techniques suggested for human resource management in sport [14,29,32].
“Nowadays, there seems to be a swell of interviews, but I have not experienced one yet. And although I agree with this type of approach, sometimes those people who are hiring the coach do not have the capacity to run this sort of interview.”
(C7)
Acknowledging the absence of a minimal human resource protocol, such as a standard job interview, coaches reacted with skepticism when questioning how they were selected in Brazil. One coach amplified a personal anecdote as a means to urge for professional actions:
“I have never been interviewed. Can you believe that? I have worked for 200 clubs! It is ridiculous. How do I play, what is my line of work, management, half-time, psychology, concepts, thoughts, game model? Nothing, nothing, nothing! Never, from my heart! It is a shame.”
(C19)
Two lower-order themes were displayed as methods of selection: telephone call and personal meeting. Telephone call refers to whenever a coach is approached via phone call by a club representative. Repeatedly pointed out as the most dominant selection method, “a simple telephone call” (C1, C2, C6, C14, C25) seems to be sufficient for hiring head coaches at the elite level of Brazilian football. As summarized by one coach, “it has always been limited to a phone call” (C3). Likewise, another coach exemplified:
“Whenever a club official calls me, he will say: ‘Look, I want to hire you.’ But he does not even know why he is hiring me. Then there is another type of call: ‘I want to talk to you, get to know you, hear about your ideas, your football vision, see if you could evaluate a game, if you could watch our team playing.’ I have lived both kinds, but the most common is a phone call saying: I want to bring you here.”
(C23)
According to recurring testimonials, coaches underlined “it is just a phone call after a team’s fluctuation” (C21), which either serves to ask if the coach would be interested in the job and let his agent discuss contractual terms for the offer or simply “one hour chatting” (C2) with whoever made the call before agreeing or declining. Such distortion from any professional technique in human resource management prompts coaches to feel incredulous, if not suspicious, about the organizational behavior and personnel selection at elite football clubs.
“Hiring decisions are still taken out of nothing, without knowing who the coach is, without sitting to talk. It is a role that carries a lot of responsibility, so they should not hand a team to a coach over the phone. ‘XYZ, do you want to come and train our team?’ I feel bad when I receive this sort of calls.”
(C5)
The subtheme of personal meeting refers to whenever a head coach meets in person with a club representative. However, there were only very few examples of coaches affirming they actually met in person with club officials at some point prior to signing a new contract, characterizing it as a rare occasion instead. Three episodes are highlighted below:
“I was interviewed only once ever since I became a football coach in 2004.”
(C24)
“I only met with club officials twice. Not only from the clubs where I worked, but including all invitations in my career. All of the others just called to invite me, but none asked me how I worked.”
(C1)
“I had three situations that I appreciated, and this is how I understand professionalism should work out. Once in the northeast and twice in the south. I went through selection processes with interviews to understand my game model and working method.”
(C13)

4.1.2. Decision-Makers

Representing a crucial component in the recruitment stage, decision-makers are responsible for employment decisions inside professional clubs. In practice, they are portrayed as club officials, combining club presidents, vice-presidents, statutory directors, executive directors, football directors, and football managers. According to the interviewees, however, “very few of them” (C7, C18, C21) are able to conduct a “technical approach” (C3, C11, C12) from a football perspective in Brazil, which reflects the limitations of people in the club who act as human resource specialists and manage contacts with coaches [14,29,32]. This scenario is consistent with perceptions of coaches in England and Ireland, who assigned the lack of football knowledge at the boardroom level as a commonplace for contradiction [27]. It appears the organizational behavior in Brazilian clubs prevails with a similar pattern, independent of different chart terminologies:
“A club official has not been prepared for that, and the president does not have a clue about what he really needs. Whether it is a young official or a newly elected president claiming in his speech that he will change and do it differently, we remain with the same idea, profile, and quality of club administrators.”
(C15)

4.1.3. Decision-Making

The largest higher-order theme within the recruitment stage exposed coaches’ insights about the alleged decision-making process that precedes their official appointment to the head coaching role. Thus, decision-making indicates the planning and rationale for hiring a new head coach. In practice, nonetheless, the actual experiences observed by coaches seem to accentuate “the lack of a professional structure” (C4, C5, C22), with club officials “hiring without thinking” (C13, C14, C17) as they work “without a strategic plan” (C4) to back up their search for a coaching profile that could fit into their club, moving away from the theoretical guidance for hiring leadership personnel in sport clubs [14,29,32].
“You are hired based on opportunism, the moment, because you are holding a good campaign at a smaller size club. You are hired by chance, not by planning.”
(C3)
Coaches reiterated how club officials may simply “hire through the media” (C5, C14, C19) or opt for a new name “because a popular coach is unemployed” (C7, C10, C11). One coach revealed the most common discourse which echoes across the Brazilian league, the so-called ‘project’, whereby empty words are eventually followed by a superficial evaluation:
“What has caught my attention among all these hiring approaches was that their speech always defended a project: ‘we believe in you, you are our choice to develop this project!’ But in practice, there was never a project! The project is always the next game, or it is about meeting expectations that club officials create, which largely differs from reality most of the time.”
(C11)
Five subthemes addressed decision-making when it is time to hire head coaches: availability, recent results, popular name, salary range, and job analysis. Collectively, they shed a brighter light on coaching recruitment and selection in professional football.
Availability is about learning whether a coach is available and willing to take a new job. As stated by the interviewees, club officials rush towards a new agreement “without even learning how or what the coach thinks” (C1, C3, C14, C18, C24) in terms of football philosophy. Regardless of coaches being free in the market or committed with another club, their willingness to sign may indicate an advanced step for a decision, or a quick solution in the eyes of the hiring party, as club officials “try to convince employed coaches” (C8) to switch clubs, and “even player agents make suggestions where coaches are in danger due to negative results” (C7).
“Club officials fire a coach, pick another one and call him. They do not want to know how the game model is, nor his working method. They simply replace their coach to transfer their responsibility. I have gone through hiring approaches like these, and I had to accept them. But I confess they were not the best decisions I made.”
(C13)
Recollecting their own precipitated decisions and declined invitations, a few coaches recognized it is important to stay calm whenever a club calls. As similarly defended by Nissen and Wagner [3], if coaches ride along with the institutionalized hire-and-fire practice of club directors, they basically comply with an act of transaction in the market, offering temporary services instead of coaching expertise. Presumably, to avoid career mistakes and excessive exposure, “head coaches should not accept each and every invitation that arises” (C5), as they may compromise their own coaching development over time.
“I have chosen to work with a single club per season, starting a new spell only in the following year in case I am dismissed, because if I had accepted all the proposals I would have had twenty coaching jobs by now. Besides, if I think it is unfair that we as coaches are fired the way we are, I also think it is unfair for me to work at two different clubs in the same year.”
(C9)
The subtheme of recent results captures perceptions or opinions about results and achievements in recent spells, as coaches discussed how decisions can be attributed to recent numbers or trophies. Interestingly, while past performance has been reinforced as a trigger for dismissals [5], it may also be acknowledged as conditional for the hiring. Apparently driven by a short memory span, club officials tend to “look for whoever is successful at the moment” (C3, C4, C9, C17), favoring “a simplistic approach” (C9) instead of expanding their analyses. When questioning the superficial assessment for hiring decisions, one coach observed the importance of distinguishing between results and coaching expertise:
“Handing out a job just because a coach won a trophy elsewhere already starts off on the wrong foot as such a huge responsibility is given to someone who was only seen through television. Upon his first bad result club officials will claim they did not imagine anything like that, but they did not even bother to learn what kind of work line that coach held beforehand.”
(C5)
Popular name appears as another subtheme, resonating the perceptions or opinions about the coach’s popularity among fans and media. In general, being portrayed as a popular or famous name in the media or at least feeling welcome by the club’s fan base turned out to be another decisive element influencing recruitment and selection. Nissen [39] prompted how head coaches are the club’s public image, acting as a spokesperson who replaces frustration with a sense of security in a complex figuration of stakeholders. Coincidentally, Brazilian elite coaches argued that club officials “only hire a brand” (C13, C24) or “a fashionable name instead of a coaching knowhow” (C11), as they are “unaware about what that coach can deliver, not even in terms of identity, whatever the club culture is” (C13).
“We are led by passionate people who care about the media, who know nothing about football. They are literally fans of the club. Coaches are hired now based on voting polls across social media. Nowadays, that is basically how club officials decide.”
(C12)
Intrigued by the surface of external looks guiding decisions, head coaches expressed that club officials are basically worried about providing “a justification for the fans and the media” (C1, C8), since “they do not know how coaches work” (C4, C6, C17). Exemplifying how the hiring may be affected by market appearances, one coach shared a personal anecdote:
“Up in the northeast, I had left my hometown to fly overnight and get there early for a meeting at 9:00 a.m. There were six people in the meeting, but then the president’s son arrived, took a photo, and posted online. Due to the negative responses online, I ended up not signing with the club. We have become hostages of social media!”
(C19)
The subtheme of salary range discloses the identification of salary and bonus expectations, as well as release clauses. Curiously, coaches reflected about the order of thoughts whenever a hiring approach happens, claiming how “finances can be a primary aspect” (C6, C7, C21), sometimes an exclusive factor to decide whether a coach will be hired.
“It is funny to say that because it obeys more or less the same ritual. Your agent calls to share that there is an interest, then you draw some kind of a proposal. After you reach an agreement, you will sit to talk with club officials. So, there is a financial conversation first, then you sit to talk, but they do not speak about planning, methodology, what you bring as expertise. It is simply given as an opportunity to work.”
(C24)
Such ritual was indeed emphasized by the coaches who recalled their own experiences, stating that their agents simply advance the financial and contractual discussion to reach a final decision right after they manifest their interest in the coaching vacancy. In practice, club officials appear to only talk about their own views or conditions, whereas the conversation with the coach himself is limited to accepting or rejecting their proposal.
“Club officials are only concerned about hearing how much you want to earn, if they can pay you, for how long the contract would last, if there will be a release clause or not, and in case you accept the offer they will book you a flight ticket. That is it.”
(C6)
Job analysis, as a subtheme, relates to the expectations and needs of the club around coaching tasks and goals. When it refers to duly addressing the role of head coaching in elite football, which can be distinguished as a higher-skilled leadership position at a contextual sport setting [2,52], coaches reinforced the “absence of technical discussions” (C1, C3, C9, C11, C21) during recruitment and selection in Brazil.
“Here, club officials label football coaches the following way: ‘I want a disciplinarian, a guy with dialogue, someone with offensive or defensive characteristics.’ They do not define a coach based on his own coaching attributes.”
(C17)
Riding along with stereotypes, the coaching job analysis shifts away from its essence of performance development and managerial perspectives to a rather subjective set of expectations for short-term service delivery instead. As similarly argued by Mason and Slack [53], the problem of determining an efficient contract is confounded by the degree to which information asymmetries and performance measures exist within a sport organization. One coach explained the analytical rationale in Brazil with a recurring anecdote:
“Nobody really asks much about your ideas, what you understand, what and how you intend to implement, how much time you need. It is usually like this: ‘our expectation is to try winning the state league, perform well in the national league, this is the roster, we are changing this, and we have this margin for transfers.’ That is it. It is never a discussion in the technical sense.”
(C11)

4.2. Dismissal Stage

The dismissal stage gathered insights about the actual human resource practices used to dismiss incumbent football coaches from their roles in Brazil, thus representing a termination of employment. Coaches frequently reported their disbelief about any objective analysis backing up the firing claims defended by club officials, as they do not show “a minimal sign of conviction” (C6, C10, C11, C15, C21), “act out of interests at all levels” (C2, C3, C8, C17, C19, C22, C26), and “only dismiss their coach to satisfy the outside” (C1, C5, C6, C21, C20). A typical disturbance among Brazilian coaches’ insights affirmed that “turnovers occur not due to coaching incapacity, but the incapacity in club administration” (C3, C4, C14), which reverberates the social and political pressure in times of negative game results, unmet subjective expectations, and eliminations from knockout cups [19]. One coach reflected on the big picture that helps to keep such a turnover carousel looping:
“In Brazil, there is a need of labeling coaches, placing us in different boxes. My virtues upon arrival will be transformed into my defects upon departure. If I am hired because of my training methodology and studies, invariably these qualities will become my defects. They serve for nothing because they are used as reasons for my dismissal. There is a rotation of styles and ages as turnovers occur.”
(C9)

4.2.1. Methods of Dismissal

Methods of dismissal illustrate the techniques used by decision-makers to professionally terminate contracts with incumbent coaches. Although a few coaches described firing episodes where they either “had a talk with the president” (C2, C17, C24) or “heard from the executive director who showed up” (C7) to announce their coaching duties were no longer needed, most coaches emphasized that “when it is time to leave, it is just a phone call” (C25), and “club officials even communicate via text message nowadays” (C14).
“I have gone through all kinds of situations. A direct talk with the president, dismissals by phone, getting fired the day after a match or right after the game in the dressing room. There are clubs formed with committees, and others have a presidential mandate, but in the end they are made of fans taking decisions inside the club.”
(C7)
Methods of dismissal were associated with three subthemes: telephone call, personal meeting, and media. Telephone call means the coach learns about his dismissal via phone call or text message. For personal meeting the coach learns about his dismissal in person by a club representative. Finally, media reflects occasions when the coach hears about the termination of his contract through the media. Overall, coaches lamented how decisions can be publicly disclosed even before the coach himself is aware.
“Unfortunately, a lot of club officials take precipitated decisions upon feeling the pressure, sometimes with the emotion right after the games, during press conferences firing a coach and then regretting it in the following day.”
(C5)

4.2.2. Decision-Makers

Similar to the first stage, decision-makers were identified as a relevant segment since they are responsible for personnel retention and turnover decisions. In practice, they are conceptualized as club officials, compiling club presidents, vice-presidents, statutory directors, executive directors, football directors, and football managers. Whereas a few coaches acknowledged that having a full-time executive director employed in the club can be helpful from a professional perspective, they emphasized the lack of autonomy this role carries given the prevailing political setting of football clubs in Brazil. On the other hand, coaches also revealed their restlessness due to executive directors acting the same way as statutory directors when it comes to dismissal decisions:
“It is not always clear who takes the decision. Nowadays, there is even a heavy dispute between coaches and executive directors in the Brazilian market because he hires you, but whenever the situation is not good you are the one who leaves the club, not him. It was his idea, his choice, but you are the scapegoat.”
(C24)
Regardless of different terminologies in the organizational charts of professional clubs, there were doubts and confusion around who indeed takes the responsibility to fire the coach, as dismissals are often blurred and communicated vaguely, reinforcing the limitations of people in the club who act as human resource specialists and manage contacts with coaches [14,29,32]. Recognizing that “the president is always lost in moments of pressure” (C21), keeping himself “surrounded by ten advisors” (C3, C20), and that “club officials do not have the minimal capacity of running an evaluation about the coach’s job” (C6), coaches stated that firing decisions are either disturbed by the emotions of “fans who work inside the club” (C7) or by “external forces” (C5, C8).
“I personally do not consider it is a decision made by presidents alone because lots of them are placed in the role by someone else who dictates their moves from behind the scenes. We cannot confirm who decides. There is no way.”
(C21)
“I am aware of cases where the decision came from club sponsors. We know about it because this is shared by people who live inside our environment. For the outside it remains unclear most of the time. At clubs with a presidential regime, the decision usually comes from the president. Whenever there are external forces, they are the ones taking the decision because they invest in the club.”
(C5)

4.2.3. Decision-Making

The largest higher-order theme within the dismissal stage assembled coaches’ responses about the alleged decision-making process that precedes their official dismissal from the head coaching role. Thus, decision-making indicates the planning and rationale for firing an incumbent coach. Based on the coaches’ testimonials, “it is not clear how the decision is taken” (C2, C6, C11, C12, C13 C18, C21), since “club officials are not analyzing the work” (C3, C10, C12, C17, C19) itself, as they apparently rely on scoreboard results instead. Such rationale inevitably makes a coach susceptible to losing his job unless he has already accumulated some credibility inside the club to overcome a wave of instability. As depicted by Arnulf et al. [54], as long as there is hope, the coach is a hero even when facing superior opponents, but when doubt and despair prevails, the same person is perceived as a loser. One coach questioned the level of superficial decisions:
“Regarding results, it is easy, just numbers, a colder analysis. But is it indeed only the work of a coach that is affecting results, or are there other components with a higher influence? Most decisions are based on the emotional state instead of rationality or any sort of analysis. I see this lack of capacity to read what happens inside clubs, the practical knowledge of coaching, what a coach is actually doing.”
(C6)
Another coach summed up the decision-making process in Brazil by declaring that “in any unstable situation club officials will opt for a turnover” (C4). To better explain decision-making prior to a termination of employment, four subthemes emerged: external pressure, internal pressure, communication, and accountability.
External pressure reflects the pressure from fans, media, sponsors, and investors. In fact, as football head coaches are essentially situated in the epicenter of public attention in Brazil, they outlined how the daily repetition of external opinions transmitted through sport media narratives and combined with the influence of social media platforms provoking debates among fans at an exponential rate can heavily affect the emotional state of decision-makers. Consistent with Nissen [39], external pressure triggers dismissals due to the challenge posed by disappointed stakeholders on club directors, who consequently shift their balance of power ratio by pushing coaches to react under the spotlight.
“It is all about emotions. I have experienced it from lower to top division clubs. This pressure that is triggered from fans to the media is a paramount factor.”
(C15)
“What motivates the dissatisfaction among club officials is exactly the pressure they suffer at home and out in the streets. So they want to get rid of it as soon as possible, and since nothing stops them from firing a coach, they do it right away.”
(C20)
Given the prevalence of external stakeholders affecting decisions, while one experienced name ratified that “results are just a pretext, a justification after all” (C8), other coaches assigned the unfair weight of game results pressing for a termination of employment. Anticipated by Hughes et al. [5], this suspension creates an illusion that masks greater weaknesses, as non-strategic adaptations do not address the real problems of the organization. Overall, in Brazil dismissals occur “without any conviction, only to show some kind of attitude” (C6, C10, C11, C15, C19, C21), temporarily pleasing the fans.
“There is this idea of quickly responding to the media, so ‘by firing the coach I will cool things down for a few days, cast the pressure away from me, and this negative moment turns out to be fully accountable towards the coach.’ This is very bad! It is the answer for whoever is outside because they do not see the work, only results. ‘Let’s replace him to calm down.’ But what do you want to calm down?!”
(C5)
Internal pressure reflects the pressure from club officials or political groups. Coaches revealed how their dismissals involve “internal politics” (C2, C12, C19) or disagreements due to potential “interferences” (C3, C8, C26) of club officials, which boil adverse relationships inside the club. Across European studies, Nissen [39] attributed how the internal pressure can be a sufficient reason to interrupt coaching duties in Denmark, while Kelly and Harris [27] diagnosed that coaches in England and Ireland mainly distrust chairmen, directors, and owners who interfere in matters related to the coaching role and team affairs. Likewise, intriguing signs of an odd organizational behavior that channels the pressure into a firing decision to blame the head coach alone were captured in Brazil.
“I do not let club officials sign players without my approval, and that brings me a problem. Whenever they force to sign a player, I speak out loud that it is not my referral. Then, when the first unstable moment hits I depend on whoever is in charge.”
(C3)
Reverberating with the internal pressure addressed by young and experienced coaches, political trends and personal interests are evidently common cues behind dismissal decisions in Brazil. To illustrate with examples, two coaches shared a series of dismissal events through personal anecdotes:
“In the southeast, there was a spell where I did not line up a player who was linked to the president, so he created a problem around that. At a southern club, I faced internal politics between players and a club official. One player ruled the team, so I was obliged to manage without creating uncomfortable zones for him. At a northeastern club, there was an executive director who was very close to some agents to bring certain players, but I did not line them up to play because they lacked performance. Then their agents started complaining. And this happens a lot!”
(C2)
“I faced a problem between my club’s main sponsor and the academy ranks. An internal shock forcing me to line up players who belonged to the investor, but I did not accept that. It generated a series of disagreements, some of a lower level from a moral perspective. It was disappointing, and I ended up fired. Then at another club, one director created a framework for players’ agents and tried to interfere in my work, and since I did not accept that either he convinced people to fire me.”
(C8)
Communication, as a subtheme, captures the communication of reasons underlying the decision for a dismissal. Away from professional standards, however, coaches are not clearly communicated about the termination of their employment with the club, which is consistent with the findings of Bentzen et al. [38] in Norway. Uncomfortable with the amateurish human resource operations of Brazilian football, coaches revealed how the communication is always understated, as club officials do not treat it directly with the coach, thus the actual reasons for dismissal remain “vague, open, and unclear” (C2, C6, C11, C13, C18, C21 C26).
“There were moments when the dismissal was informed without any sort of explanation. Someone comes over to announce that you are out. ‘OK, but what is happening?’ It is simply like this: ‘Swing by on Tuesday or just let your lawyer know that we will get in touch.’ When there is an explanation it is because things were not going well and they needed to change, always like this.”
(C24)
While wondering why unsubstantiated firing events happen, one coach observed they keep occurring “because there is the involvement of the press, fans, and social media” (C21). Since coaches only have “a wider awareness as time goes by” (C12), the communication of a firing decision can even turn into “an embarrassing situation” (C8).
“In these moments of breaching an agreement a lot of people hide away because it is always a difficult time. For example, in the southeast, right after a game, things got awkward when I was returning to the dressing room. I received text messages from my personal press officer saying there were rumors in the media claiming I was about to get fired. The executive director was in front of me denying it. In the end both of us were fired, but nobody came down to tell us the decision was already taken. I was only communicated because I pressed the club’s president to come down to the dressing room and talk to me before I spoke with my players, otherwise I would talk to them, leave, and then learn about my dismissal.”
(C18)
Accountability, as a subtheme, is about honoring payments, debts, and legal actions due to dismissals. One of the most frightful arguments derived from coaches’ testimonials portrays the lack of commitment regarding employment relations from a professional, ethical, and legal standpoint. Annoyed by the lack of accountability throughout the domestic territory, coaches expressed how club officials care less about their clubs’ financial health “because they will no longer be in charge when the problem arises” (C4), and “since they are not working with their own money and legal identities, the liabilities will remain with the club” (C3). Based on their responses, dismissed coaches are seldom compensated unless they proceed with legal actions against their former employers. Three coaches from different backgrounds stressed how the structural and financial framework facilitates turnovers:
“Club officials do not pay the coach! Head coaches leave the club and depend on receiving their debts in installments, which are not honored either. It took 19 years for a colleague to get paid by a famous club. This brings restlessness for coaches.”
(C14)
“We have an aggravating issue that no other country has: honoring a contract, regardless of keeping a coach or not. Even if the contract was duly signed, a breach of agreement is rarely respected. When a coach is fired in Brazil, it will take him on average five, six years to get paid.”
(C16)
“If club officials are not forced to pay their debts and financial obligations, they will keep on firing endlessly. They do not pay anyone! They try their luck by replacing coaches. It has not worked out with this one, let us change, and once again! I have money to receive from a club in the southeast. Do you know when I will get paid? Maybe five years from now if I sue them in court! This is the environment where I work. It is easy for the system to discard me.”
(C22)

5. Conclusions

Upon exploring the actual practices of human resource management in a professional sport setting, this qualitative research offers an in-depth revelation of the recruitment and dismissal processes witnessed by elite football coaches in Brazil. Reporting on the recruitment stage, coaches emphasized how approaches tend to be random and vague due to the absence of technical knowledge among club officials, whose decisions are mostly driven by coaching availability, recent results, popularity, salary range, and a job analysis based on subjective claims. In hindsight, the predominant hiring method relies on a simple telephone call, whereas a personal meeting was portrayed as a rare event prior to signing a new contract. For the dismissal stage, coaches reported how decision-makers only dismiss coaches to satisfy stakeholders’ opinions, transferring their own responsibility to try alleviating the external and internal pressure. While looking for an excuse to please the media and disperse fan reactions, club officials even abdicate from professional standards facing a termination of employment, as they do not communicate the dismissal in a clear way with coaches, and neither hold themselves accountable for the consequences of financial debts due to breaching contractual agreements.
The results suggest that decision-makers neglect both a strategic and a sustainable rationale towards human resource management in Brazilian football. Distorted from the spectrum of a gradual performance improvement in an elite sport environment, club officials are presumably obsessed by seeking external validation (i.e., from the media, fan base, sponsors, political groups) for their actions upon hiring and firing coaches in Brazil. Therefore, the roots underneath repetitive turnovers and short-term coaching spells may actually reside in the organizational behavior cultivated by decision-makers and not in the coaching candidates alone, who are randomly recycled at unparalleled rates.
Such a pace of questionable habits may resemble a warning sign that opposes any growth mindset within the sport, consequently affecting the sustainability of human resource management and football development in the domestic territory. Beyond the temporary relations between employer and employee, the cultural acceptance of this hire-and-fire mentality seems to impact coaches, players, club personnel, fans, and sponsors alike in Brazil. If social and organizational sustainability were to become realistic goals for the benefit of football stakeholders, decision-makers should reflect on a strategic policy aimed at treating coaches as key-relevant human resources within their own professional environment. After all, professional coaches are the ones who can essentially guide the complex process of athletic improvement over time within a sport structure.
This study contributes to the literature in three ways. First, it represents an exclusive collaboration that advances the understanding of human resource management in a professional sport setting, thanks to the accessibility of a comprehensive sample of experienced coaches. Second, the analysis of qualitative insights provides in-depth knowledge about the actual processes underlying the hiring and firing of coaches behind the scenes, and thus enhances our understanding of human resource management practices in professional football. It also enriches the statistical evidence provided by previous quantitative studies. Third, this study respected the contextual dynamics of social and political ramifications surrounding football head coaches, cautiously listening to their own voices in order to improve academic discussions about their job.

5.1. Managerial Implications

Reflective ideas for practical implications can be derived from this study. First, professional clubs should consider the adoption of human resource management systems to better identify, screen, and track coaching profiles in advance. Similarly as scouting departments assess football players with performance analysis software prior to discussing potential transfers, club officials could take advantage of technology and science to step away from subjective biases and sources of pressure that push for turnover events. Second, decision-makers should implement rounds of behavioral interviews, analyses of work samples, and application of technical tasks to better understand the coaches’ expertise, philosophy, and methodology before an invitation to work at the club. Relying solely on existing records and achievements can be a misleading channel for contextual decisions, consequently setting the scene for unsustainable employment relations. Third, a realistic agreement about short- and long-term goals, expectations, and performance indicators should be established upfront in order to avoid incoherent misjudgments during the season, which would also contribute to potentially decrease the risks of within-season coaching replacements. Fourth, flows of communication and feedback should be fostered with a clear hierarchy to stimulate progressive development within the sport structure inside the club. Fifth, a careful yet urgent restructuring of the legal and financial framework backing up coaching jobs should be a priority for domestic and even continental sport governing bodies, as well as for government officials in the Brazilian congress and senate, who have been procrastinating the approval of a legislative update aimed at safeguarding the football coaching profession in the territory.

5.2. Limitations and Future Research

A set of limitations can be observed. First, while all participants were native head coaches with plenty of experience in the empirical setting, this research did not interview any foreign names who had previously worked in Brazil. Listening to outsiders may help confirm whether human resource practices are replicated in a similar way with international coaches. Second, the study did not capture the other side of such labor market transactions, as it concentrated exclusively on employees’ testimonials. Learning from employers’ experiences may also be valuable and complement the picture with views from the other end of contractual relations. Additionally, future research could also investigate the professional background of decision-makers in football clubs, as they are the actual gatekeepers holding employment opportunities within a high-performance sport structure and should, therefore, be aware of the complexity of elite coaching upfront. Third, this study focused on a single territory, observing the social and political ramifications of coaching turnovers through the eyes of practitioners who operate within the Brazilian football league. Expanding this rationale towards other countries and sports could be an interesting avenue for the academic literature.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, M.G. and P.W.; methodology, M.G. and L.L.; software, L.L. and M.G.; formal analysis, M.G. and L.L.; investigation, M.G.; writing—original draft preparation, M.G.; writing—review and editing, P.W., L.L. and M.G.; supervision, P.W.; project administration, M.G. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Funding

We acknowledge support for the publication costs by the Open Access Publication Fund of Bielefeld University and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

Institutional Review Board Statement

The study was conducted according to the guidelines of the Declaration of Helsinki. Approval by an Institutional Review Board was not necessary.

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.

Data Availability Statement

The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author. The data are not publicly available due to data privacy reasons.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the scholars from the 2021 EASM Festival of Sport Management Research and Practice, and from the 2021 SMAANZ Conference for their insightful comments and suggestions to further strengthen this study. Moreover, the first author extends a message of gratitude to the Brazilian Federation of Football Coaches (FBTF) for its genuine support in facilitating connections, as well as to the elite coaches who voluntarily expressed their appreciation for the importance of this research project beyond its academic scope.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Figure 1. Landscape of professional football coaching turnovers in the Brasileirão (2003–2020). Note: Brazil’s top football tier introduced a double round-robin format in 2003, balancing the competition with 20 clubs by 2006 (there were 24 teams in 2003 and 2004, then 22 teams in 2005). Altogether, 294 individual coaching names were employed in the league system since 2003, with an average of 34% representing new names each year. Considering all within-season replacements, 669 turnovers were witnessed across 18 seasons.
Figure 1. Landscape of professional football coaching turnovers in the Brasileirão (2003–2020). Note: Brazil’s top football tier introduced a double round-robin format in 2003, balancing the competition with 20 clubs by 2006 (there were 24 teams in 2003 and 2004, then 22 teams in 2005). Altogether, 294 individual coaching names were employed in the league system since 2003, with an average of 34% representing new names each year. Considering all within-season replacements, 669 turnovers were witnessed across 18 seasons.
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Table 1. List of all 43 professional football clubs that competed in the Brasileirão from 2003 to 2020 (in alphabetical order) and employed at least one of the interviewed coaches.
Table 1. List of all 43 professional football clubs that competed in the Brasileirão from 2003 to 2020 (in alphabetical order) and employed at least one of the interviewed coaches.
Football ClubClub LocationRegion
1América-MGBelo HorizonteSoutheast
2América-RNNatalNortheast
3Athletico-PRCuritibaSouth
4Atlético-GOGoiâniaMidwest
5Atlético-MGBelo HorizonteSoutheast
6AvaíFlorianópolisSouth
7BahiaSalvadorNortheast
8BotafogoRio de JaneiroSoutheast
9BrasilienseTaguatingaMidwest
10CearáFortalezaNortheast
11ChapecoenseChapecóSouth
12CorinthiansSão PauloSoutheast
13CoritibaCuritibaSouth
14CriciúmaCriciúmaSouth
15CruzeiroBelo HorizonteSoutheast
16CSAMaceióNortheast
17FigueirenseFlorianópolisSouth
18FlamengoRio de JaneiroSoutheast
19FluminenseRio de JaneiroSoutheast
20FortalezaFortalezaNortheast
21GoiásGoiâniaMidwest
22GrêmioPorto AlegreSouth
23GuaraniCampinasSoutheast
24InternacionalPorto AlegreSouth
25IpatingaIpatingaSoutheast
26JoinvilleJoinvilleSouth
27JuventudeCaxias do SulSouth
28NáuticoRecifeNortheast
29PalmeirasSão PauloSoutheast
30ParanáCuritibaSouth
31PaysanduBelémNorth
32Ponte PretaCampinasSoutheast
33PortuguesaSão PauloSoutheast
34Prudente/BarueriPresidente PrudenteSoutheast
35Red Bull BragantinoBragança PaulistaSoutheast
36Santa CruzRecifeNortheast
37Santo AndréSanto AndréSoutheast
38SantosSantosSoutheast
39São CaetanoSão CaetanoSoutheast
40São PauloSão PauloSoutheast
41SportRecifeNortheast
42VascoRio de JaneiroSoutheast
43VitóriaSalvadorNortheast
Table 2. Overview of the category system for coaching recruitment and dismissal.
Table 2. Overview of the category system for coaching recruitment and dismissal.
CategoryTheme, Higher-OrderSubtheme, Lower-Order
Recruitment stage
Methods of selectionTelephone call
Personal meeting
Decision-makers
Decision-makingAvailability
Recent results
Popular name
Salary range
Job analysis
Dismissal stage
Methods of dismissalTelephone call
Personal meeting
Media
Decision-makers
Decision-makingExternal pressure
Internal pressure
Communication
Accountability
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