5 unfortunate football managers who didn't get to do much


  • People
  • Friday, 30 Sep 2016

The story of Brian Clough's 44 day stint as manager of Leeds United in 1974 is easily one of the most acrimonious departures in British football history. - Filepic

In the history of modern football, Sam Allardyce’s 67 days as England manager will definitely stand long as an infamous record – and will make for useful pub quiz fodder.

Allardyce, 61, was caught up in a newspaper (Britain’s Daily Telegraph) sting in which he allegedly met a bogus consortium of Far East businessmen seeking advice on the Premier League’s billion-pound transfer market. In the transcript, he talked about ways to circumvent an FA rule enacted in 2008 about third parties owning parts of a player’s economic rights. He was swiftly sacked (or “mutual consent”, according to industry-speak) as England manager for inappropriate conduct.

Allardyce is now the shortest serving England manager ever, beating Steve McClaren’s 18-game tenure (one year, six months, 18 days in 2006-2007) and Kevin Keegan’s 18-match run (one year, seven months, 17 days in 1999-2000).

Allardyce's humiliating end as England manager can now be added to the list of some high profile managerial exits.

Here are five examples of abrupt endings:

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1. Marcelo Bielsa, of Argentina, is surely a character to remember. His eccentric behaviour has courted controversy, especially in the last two years. In July this year, Bielsa dropped a bombshell and suddenly quit as Lazio coach, just two days after the Italian club announced it signed the former Argentina manager.

Bielsa, apparently, had “a change of heart” over the Lazio appointment. For Bielsa, these “walk-outs” have become a growing career pattern since he also quit as Marseille manager after just one game in Ligue 1 last season.[/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"]

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Marcelo Bielsa reacts during a football match in France in 2015. Photo: Reuters

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2. In the summer of 1998, Jose Antonio Camacho took over Real Madrid’s first team, but left after only 23 days over disagreements with then president Lorenzo Sanz and the club’s management.

He threw a fit because he wasn’t allowed to pick his own backroom staff. He did not take charge of a single match.

Interestingly, Jose was back at the Bernabeu in 2004 for a second stint. He lasted 115 days and three games. A slightly improved record?[/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"]

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Jose Antonio Camacho, the man with the famously sweaty armpits. Photo: AFP

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3. In 2011, Inter Milan sacked coach Gian Piero Gasperini after just five matches and three months in charge. Under Gasperini’s guidance, the 18-time Italian Serie A champions earned a single point from their opening three league matches to languish in 17th position in the table – one place outside of the relegation zone.

That was enough for Inter president Massimo Moratti to show him the door at San Siro.[/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"]

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Inter Milan sacked coach Gian Piero Gasperini after just five matches and three months in charge in 2011. Photo: AFP

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4. In the Premier League, Charlton coach Les Reed lasted just 41 days in charge of the Addicks in 2006. Reed holds the record for the shortest Premier League managerial spell at just seven matches. To his woeful credit, Reed won one of them.

Funnily enough, he was also known as ‘Les Miserables’ to those with gallows humour at The Valley.[/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"]

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Charlton's Les Reed holds the record for the shortest Premier League managerial spell at just seven matches in 2006.

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5. Brian Clough’s 44 days at Leeds United in 1974 is easily one of the most acrimonious departures in British football history. It was a hate-hate relationship, resulting in several books and a movie The Damned United (2009) retelling this horror episode.

As the story goes, Clough loathed Leeds players. The Leeds players intensely despised Clough, who had previously bad-mouthed them while in charge of Derby County.

The players got their wish and Clough was shipped out from Elland Road. Of course, Clough had the last laugh as he went to achieve bigger and better things with Nottingham Forest.[/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"]

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The story of Brian Clough's 44 day stint as manager of Leeds United in 1974 is easily one of the most acrimonious departures in British football history. Photo: Filepic

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