IT’S never easy taking on your first job in football management, but Jake Buxton knows he also has the extra challenge of facing the uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
The long-term impact on the game is expected to be huge, with clubs having to make big adjustments after taking a massive financial hit.
Smaller squads and budgets, the impact of an economic depression on the pockets of fans and sponsors and lingering effects of the pandemic could all play a part.
Buxton said: “It’s changed everything for virtually everyone in the world.
“Many jobs will be lost, and that will be reflected in all aspects of life and sport will not be immune and we will not go back to the finances as they were before the crisis.
“I will be impressing on the players that in terms of wages, appearances fees, win bonuses and the kind of things players expect in contracts, that might not be the same anymore.
“It will hit the supporters hard and with jobs lost it will be hard for fans to still afford to watch football so it’s even more important that we give absolutely everything for them. That way it can hopefully become once again a wonderful release from everyday life or problems on a Saturday.
“I know that I’m starting out with a set of circumstances that nobody has dealt with before, but I also know I will be given time to make a good job of it.
“The Chairman has given many young managers an opportunity to learn their trade and the time they need, where some clubs have been quick to jump the gun and make snap decisions. Our Chairman accepts that it’s a learning curve and when you look at the names of the managers who have worked here and been successful that backing has been immensely important.
“These are different times and circumstances and I know budgets will have to be restricted and that we will have to look at staff and players taking on dual roles. Football in general won’t have the luxury of many bodies.”
Buxton will have a core of players still under contract but with loans expiring and others coming to the end of deals, he will have a lot of work to do in building a squad.
“There are a lot of decisions to be made and a lot of talks to be had,” he said, “but we have a good core group of players.
“What we will do, is give every last bit of effort we’ve got in each and every game. Honesty, attitude and desire will be a given for the players who represent the club and myself every time they put on a Brewers’ shirt.
“It’s about making sure the supporters can relate to their team and that the players appreciate the impact they have on the supporters.
“The players have been working hard to stay connected with everyone in the community and this is something that needs to carry on when we can resume to some form of normality.
“There will be a turnover of players this summer, there would have been anyway with players being out of contract.
“It will be about trying to get together a core of players who believe in the club as Nigel Clough has always done.
“Recruitment will be vital, we have to make sure that besides ability we sign players with the right character - it won’t be easy but we are ready to do this together.”
Jake has seen a lot of Under 23 football and has kept a close eye on the prospects coming through Burton Albion Academy and will be keen to blend youth with experience.
“We need to make sure there is a pathway for all young talent coming through at the club to be given the opportunity to play for the first team.
“Home-grown talent is the key to the success of Burton Albion for the future. I will be working closely will Dan Robinson and his staff and particularly Keith Gilroy who will help in the development of the younger pros.
“I have good connections with other clubs but promoting from within is something Burton Albion is well known for and the Academy has produced players who are a big asset on the pitch thanks to the hard work of Dan and all his staff. These youngsters relate to the fans and know how important it is to pull on a Burton Albion shirt and they will be important to the club going forward.”