At most football clubs, a few members of the team take the blame when things go wrong, because these few members of the team are loaded with much more responsibilities. However, we can glean wisdom from the German Penalty theory to solve this problem.

The story behind the German Penalty Theory has it that when a German club is preparing for a crucial knockout match, each selected penalty player practices three possible kicks were they to play a shootout in the next game. For instance, a player might practice to play to the bottom-center, bottom-right, and top-left. While another player practices, bottom-left, top-right and top-center. Each player represents each of the rehearsed direction with A, B and C. On the deal day, if the game ends up in a shootout, the coach tells each of the players the option to play. This relieves the player of the responsibility of deciding where to kick the ball. All he has to concentrate on is to make the right contact, expend the right energy and kick the ball appropriately. If the keeper surmises right and saves the ball, the player does not take the whole blame because it was the manager’s decision. The manager does not also take the entire blame because he wasn’t the one who kicked the ball.

The principle of the German Penalty Theory can be applied to the relationship between the coach of a football club and the board. With the constant change of coaches, it is evident that it is the coach that bears the responsibility for the poor performance of the club. This is because the coach is responsible for several vital decisions in the club. But coaches will be more effective if they are relieved of some of taking responsibility for many of these crucial decisions. For example, other people within the club can be saddled with the responsibility for the transfer of players, succession planning, among others.

The lesson here is that clubs achieve the best results when the responsibilities are shared.