Openness and curiosity for decisive innovations in Swiss football

What does a footballer say when he gets a book?

“Thank you, I already have one.”

Well, my wife asked me this question some time ago.

In the book “Think Fast, Think Slow”, the author, the Israeli-American psychologist Daniel Kahneman, gives the reader a decisive impetus:

“The experts can’t help it – the world is complicated.”

This chapter (The Illusion of Validity) was not about making it clear that people who make predictions make many mistakes; that goes without saying. The first lesson is that prediction errors are inevitable because the world is unpredictable. The second is that strong subjective belief is not a reliable indicator of correctness (a weak belief could be more informative).

Short-term trends can be predicted, and behaviour and performance can be fairly accurately predicted from past behaviour and previous performance.

And we shouldn’t expect much from experts who make long-term forecasts – even if they may know useful things about the near future. The line that separates the possibly predictable future from the unpredictably distant future has yet to be drawn.

Of course, I dare draw a line. In sport I have no chance of being successful without risk and as a TV expert at Swiss Radio and Television (SRF) I am expected to perform pointed analysis and not vague, long-term forecasts.

As a coach, I have several goals, but one of them is formative for me personally. I want to make players better every day. I did part of my training as a coach at the English Football Association. We often spoke of the “growth mindset”. This means broadening thinking. This constantly growing mind-set is partly dependent on the current zeitgeist of society.

The majority of it is your own self, regardless of the type of company or situation in your personal life. Then I would be back to: “I take full responsibility for what I say and do”.

My own is currently evaluating the current situation of Swiss football, yes, but of sport in general in Switzerland.

For our ice hockey cracks, maybe after 50 league games, it was a little easier to let the play-offs whiz. Perhaps. It looked different again at the World Cup. That really hurt. Not to mention the many athletes and coaches who have been preparing for the Tokyo Olympics for four years. Or on the federal shooting festival, the Tour de Suisse, etc. Just painful.

Whether a storm, drought, artificial turf or asphalt, we coaches and players always want to kick. The announced games without spectators can also give us hope. Everyone can decide for themselves whether ghost games are the right way or the wrong way.

Because the mainstay of football (followed by ice hockey), with the largest and strongest national sports association in Switzerland, could set the course for various innovations from which other sports should also benefit. Even our “Champion of Eternity” Roger Federer was not afraid of the idea of wanting to merge the two associations WTA and ATP.

The increase to a larger, national football league was rejected. From a sporting perspective, we would have enough footballers and coaches to put 12 teams in the Super League. But economic aspects such as TV money do not allow 12 top professional clubs. That’s not true.

Here we have to rethink.

1. Own offspring
We praise ourselves for our great work with young talent, but we could do a lot more for our young talent. Our young footballers need more time and more opportunities, which we could guarantee with more patience, less expensive players who have to play, contingents and financial incentives.

However, our offspring simply have too little a platform to show themselves in the crucial breakthrough phase for a possible career. We invest (“the money”) enormous amounts and sums in junior football, but the return (“the money”) is low. The promises made to teenagers and their parents about golden football careers are hardly kept. Most often this happens around the tender age of 17-21 years.

As a coach with experience in the youth field, I know that one or the other player would have needed nothing more than a season more. But the train often travels and the dream, the goal, the career is over. Yes, yes, the best always prevail. Really?

The desperate greed of some football clubs for money in European football brings open, curious attitudes and perspectives to their knees year after year and ultimately crushes them the carelessness of our offspring in their, and accordingly in our, human values. I personally play football because I think it’s a brilliant game and I really enjoy it.

2. European football
The Champions League is massively overestimated and overrated. Why this unconditional pursuit of it? Oh yes, money, fame and honour, etc. Certainly, sometimes we see magical football and spectacular games with incredible skills of the players and coaches.

In relation to the bloated circus, we see such games far too little and the consumer fatigue after football is progressing. UEFA’s points rating for qualifications and participation in European competitions must no longer be the main reference for our football. We want to measure ourselves against the best, of course, but not at all costs.

Of course, I too have great pleasure in the successful international appearances of our club football. But what we have to save and pay back in monetary terms over the next few years, we can finally invest more in people again.

Now is the time to move closer together as a footballing nation and make our national championship stronger. If we can do this, our youth, grassroots and women’s football will also become stronger. This is football in Switzerland as an integration factor for our boys and girls and not those from Europe.

3rd summer season for top football 2021
It is unlikely that we will play with spectators in the football stadiums in 2020. This means that we will not start the new 2020/21 season before we can play in front of and with spectators again. If we did not start the new season by October 2020 (in front of spectators), this would be a steep pass with a guaranteed shot and success for the 2021 summer championship. The season would last from around the beginning of March to the end of November. The Scandinavian countries and Russia also play their national championships in this period.


• Only one preparatory phase. I don’t know a single player who would oppose it.
• More games during the weeks during the best football months. Called:
• When our ice hockey is at its peak, namely in the play-offs (end of February, March), the football season begins. In May, every two years in June (because of the European Championship or World Cup), in July and August, games would be possible on wonderful summer evenings. Called:
• More viewers than in December, January, February. Called:
• The stadiums will be full in spring 2021. Called:
• A bigger chance to integrate our viewers even more into the game. Called:
• Our fans can fully enjoy football and do not have to shiver in the cold during two thirds of the games.
• Festivals, popular festivals etc. take place in summer, so football should also implement more money and boost the economy of the clubs.
• In Switzerland, few clubs with a European focus would be in the middle of the season in summer. Accordingly, they would be better rehearsed and have a higher rhythm, which increases the chances of success.
• The higher risk of injury to players in the winter months is reduced.

I was a passionate football player and now I am an enthusiastic professional coach.

I will stay and will be football coach for a while with a lot of enthusiasm and joy. I have been involved in top football for over 25 years and know that there is no top without width. Our youth, grassroots and women’s football (sports) must survive, that is our future.

With the thought of the next generations, I delve into the next chapters of my books.

Above all, I am looking forward to my next, new steps in my life with openness and curiosity.