What's The Story?: The panel look at coaching and power in sport

Last Updated: 21/11/13 1:21pm

Each week on What's The Story?, Sarah-Jane Mee and her expert panel look at some of the big talking points from within the sporting realm.

On Wednesday night, SJ was joined by Alan Curbishley, Alyson Rudd, Shaun Edwards and Clare Connor to discuss various aspects to do with the roles of coaching, management and decision making.

The panel looked at the structures within football and rugby clubs, as well as international cricket, and some of the power struggles that start behind closed doors - but often end up out in the open.

Check out the videos below to listen to some of the debate and then download the podcast here.

Player power

Do players or the owners and manager hold the power within football clubs? That was a question up for debate following the news that Gareth Bale had refused to train with Tottenham after becoming "furious" at the Londoners' handling of his proposed transfer to Real Madrid. Former Charlton and West Ham manager Curbishley feels it is difficult to keep players who want out, but points out clubs have flexed their muscle over recent months, saying: "If you look at the Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney situations, clubs have stood up to players and said: 'You're contracted to us and are going to stay'". Hit the video to the right to hear more of Curbs' thoughts as well as the views of Wales defence coach, Edwards, on whether player power exists in rugby.

Managers v chairmen

Thoughts quickly turned to who has the ultimate say within a football club - the man picking the team or the man picking the manager? Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich holds sway at Stamford Bridge and has employed nine managers - and Jose Mourinho twice - since he purchased the Blues 10 years ago. Times journalist Rudd says the Russain often acts "on the whims of a billionaire" citing his desire to pinch Anzhi Makhachkala's Brazilian winger Willian from under the noses of Tottenham and the constant managerial merry-go-round in West London as examples, but says Abramovich gets away with it and "does not screw things up" because he has employed people underneath him who know how to run a club on a day-to-day basis.

Andy Flower's future

England's team director Andy Flower has used his powers to mastermind three successive Ashes victories, with the third of those coming at The Oval on Sunday night. The Zimbabwean has remained coy over his long-term plans amid rumours he could step down after this winter's Ashes campaign, and former England Women's captain Connor echoed the sentiments of skysports.com blogger Bob Willis by stating that Flower would be sorely missed if he did depart. "Andy will say that teams continue to go forward and reach new heights, but he has been critical to the team's success over recent years. He is a great leader, a brilliant person and sets high standards." The panel also looked at how England may fare without Flower and the resignation of ECB managing director Hugh Morris, as you will hear by playing the adjacent video.

Want to hear more from the What's The Story team? Then download the podcast here.