Birmingham appoint Vetere as Director of Football
Written by Simon Austin — May 10, 2017
JEFF VETERE has become the new Director of Football at Birmingham City - where he will team up with Harry Redknapp, one of the most outspoken critics of the role.
The former Luton Town apprentice will have a “wide-ranging brief”, organising the club’s recruitment strategy and “offering support to the manager in identifying and signing the right players”.
Vetere, 50, will also “provide backing for the medical, sports science and welfare departments, as well as working closely with the Academy, helping to develop and enhance the pathway for the club's promising youngsters”.
Vetere said: “It is an honour to be given this opportunity to work at such a great football club, with a lot of tradition and a great fan base. Football is my life and to be part of this new project, to help push the Club forward, is an exciting challenge."
He will work closely with Redknapp, who has agreed a one-year deal to stay on as manager at St Andrews. This is perhaps slightly ironic when you consider that Redknapp has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Director of Football role in the past.
In November 2014, when he was QPR boss, Redknapp said: “It totally undermines your role as manager if you’re not picking the players. It’s a joke really that you are expected to work with someone else’s players.
"It’s all very well someone recommending players to you but when they don’t work out, it’s your head on the block. I’m just not in favour of that. As a manager I have to select the players, train them every day and make decisions.
"To expect me to work with players someone else has decided I want is a nonsense. I want to make my own decisions and rightfully so. If things don’t work out fine, I’m responsible for that. But why should I be accountable for someone else’s mistakes?
“My head’s on the block when it goes wrong so no I’m not going to support something that could cost me my job and I have no say in it.”
Vetere is “multi-lingual with a host of worldwide contacts and an encyclopaedic knowledge of players”, according to Birmingham.
His first coaching role was with Luton, where he worked for Football in the Community and their Centre of Excellence. He was Under-16s/17s coach at Charlton before becoming head of youth development at Rushden and Diamonds.
After that he returned to Charlton as head of international scouting and chief scout, before Alan Curbishley took him to West Ham United for a short spell as technical co-ordinator. Then came four months at Real Madrid under technical director Miguel Angel Portugal.