Much has been said about the weaknesses of management in Iran’s football circles. The endless tales of failures by management of the football federation and clubs in Iran, is becoming so intolerable to the extent that the state-controlled and highly conformist Iranian media is becoming increasingly critical of the poor showing and embarrassingly appalling performance and decisions of the men in charge of football in the country.
Lack of proper selection and appointment mechanism of directors and personnel in Iranian clubs, dearth of experienced and skilled managers in football, poor international influences and relations building strategy, non-existent public relations , lack of vision , deficiency in commercial activities and marketing skills , and absence of long term strategies are just a few of a long list of shortcomings that mars the working of football management in Iran.
It is quite safe to say, that without the government financial backing, none of the major clubs would be in existence and would have been bankrupt. That includes the major big clubs such as Esteghlal and Persepolis the two giants of Tehran, Zob Ahan and Sepahan of Esfahan and all the way to clubs in the South and North of Iran. Simply said these clubs could not run successfully and independently because there are very few capable, experienced and qualified football management running these clubs. The fact that government handouts is readily available, makes the situation even worse because these managers do not need to work hard to generate revenue to sustain the clubs activities.
It is believed that Sepahan is one of the best run and most successful clubs in Iran. That is all relative, of course, as other clubs believe that the generous contribution by the state owned steel industry has been the main factor behind Sepahan’s success by pouring money into it.
However, it is prudent to review Sepahan and Sardar Azmoun episode
The prolific Team Melli young striker comes from the Turkmen region and was born in Gonbad-e Kāvus , of Golestan province on the New Year’s eve in 1995. He played football in various small provincial clubs before the scouts of Sepahan club spotted him in 2010 and invited him to join the youth Academy for development of talented player. It was definitely a fine move by the Esfahani club.
In the 3 years that Azmoun was registered under Sepahan, he was selected to represent Iran at several age Teams. He was always excellent and full of potential. However, Sepahan failed to see his real potential and opted to put on the sideline until a club from far away land of Chechnya decided that there is an enormous potential in this young Iranian lad that is worth investing in.
Sardar Azmoun, arguably, the best Iranian talent in the past two decades, left to Rubin Kazan without playing a single match for Sepahan senior team, not in the league nor in the cup.
Furthermore, Sepahan Management never thought of protecting their investment by binding the player to a contract or writing a clause in it for future, like most other professional clubs do. Clauses to claim part of future transfers as their share of development of the player. So, after 3 years of work by Sepahan coaches at all levels, the boy left to Russia without Sepahan getting anything of significance.
Today, Azmoun’s current market value is close to £11.05 million, which FC Rostov will be getting from his sale to any club interested in the 22 year old striker; Those clubs include Première league Liverpool and Arsenal.
What about Sepahan? They will get zilch, no development right fees and no percentage of transfer fee, simply because amateurs’ are running the commercial departments of the clubs. People short of vision and devoid of ideas and strategy.
One can only imagine how bad & chaotic the business is conducted in clubs like Esteghlal and Persepolis, who are getting the lion-share of the public funds and government handouts without producing single Iranian young talented players in the last two decades.