There have been numerous infamous sacking in the world of football, some more scandalous than others. However, have you ever wondered what the shortest managerial reigns were? Let’s have a look at the 10 instances where managers were sacked before they could even get comfy in their offices,
1. Brian Clough — 44 Days (Leeds United) 1974
A match made in hell, as most people claim. Strangely, Clough had bad-mouthed the club when he was still in charge of Derby. Later, he was appointed as manager of the Leeds United, which unsurprisingly, was not well received by fans of The Peacocks. Clough took charge of the club in July, and after just one win in six games, he was effectively dismissed. What’s more? His terror spell made it to the silver screen with the adaptation of the novel The Damned United.
2. Jock Stein — 44 Days (Leeds United) 1978
Another manager who couldn’t quite get going at Leeds again. The Celtic manager was apparently the first manager of British origin to clinch the European Cup. Additionally, during his tenure at Celtic Park, he won the league title 9 times. What followed after the amazing stint was a dry spell lasting for 13 years, following which he decided to make the switch to Leeds United. His tenure for The Peacocks didn’t last long, to say the least. The Scotland National Team job became available soon after his arrival at Leeds, and he promptly accepted.
3. Alex Mcleish — 41 Days (Nottingham Forest) 2013/14
Following Sean O’Driscoll’s dismissal at the hands of Forest’s new Kuwaiti owners, that too after a 4–2 Boxing Day victory over Leeds United, Mcleish stepped up as the boss. The Championship club were just one point off from the play-offs. However, Mcleish’s arrival didn’t help their prospects, securing only one win from his seven in-charge. Apparently, the inability to acquire transfer targets left the manager fuming. He was then removed soon after.
4. Les Reed — 41 Days (Charlton Athletic) 2006
Reeds was originally the FA’s technical director before departing to The Valley to become Ian Dowe’s assistant. Following the removal of Dowe as manager, Reed was chosen as the successor. Disaster soon ensued as Charlton only won a single game and were knocked out of the League Cup by League Two side Wycombe. Alan Pardew replaced him on Christmas Eve, and was later voted to be the ‘worst manger of all time’ in an unofficial poll. Harsh!
5. Steve Claridge — 36 Days (Millwall FC) 2005
Claridge was a player at The Den before deciding to try his luck as a manager. This decision was met with cheer from Millwall fans. Dennis Wise replaced him in the summer of 2005. Strangely, he never took charge of a single competitive fixture. Reports suggest that his axing was done right after a boardroom talk. Chairman Theo Paphitis instead appointed and stated, “ We have a strong chance of being relegated under Steve.“
6. Steve Coppell – 33 Days (Manchester City) 1996
Coppell was in-charge of London club Crystal Palace for two spells. He chose to move to Manchester City. However, like the other managers on this list, it did not turn out well. His tenure lasted six games and cited stress as the reason for his resignation. Coppell was then back at Selhurst Park as chief scout and became the boss again in the year that followed.
7. Paul Hart – 28 Days (Queens Park Rangers) 2009/10
Previous managers Paulo Sousa and Jim Magilton had already been shown the boat in the same year, prior to Hart’s appointment as manager. A tiff with Adel Taarabt did not make his job easier with trigger happy owner Flavio Briatore. Hart did not enjoy a night at Loftus Road, with only one win out of five games in the bag. Hey what promptly dismissed later by the Italian owner.
8. Mickey Adams – 13 days (Swansea City) 1997
In the span of 18 months Adams was the sixth manager of the Vetch Field. Following three losses in three weeks, Adams put in his resignation. The reason cited? Apparently, the Swans lied to him about the club’s transfer kitty.
9. Dave Bassett – 4 Days (Crystal Palace) 1984
Bassett was only three days into the job at Wimbledon – his first, by the way. He never actually signed an official contract but did put in four days of work before reconsidering and stayed at the Dons. He said, “ I gave it some serious thought, but in the end it just did not feel right.“ But 12 years later, he did manage the Eagles.
10. Leroy Rosenior – 10 minutes (Torquay) 2007
Yes, you read that right. Rosenoir had initially managed Torqaut between 2002 and 2006 and came back in the following year to replace Keith Curle – or so he thought. The former Hammers striker’s appointment came at the exact same time the club was purchased by a local consortium. And when Colin Lee was announced as the new chief executive at Plain Moor, his first task was to dismiss Rosenior and draw at Exeter assistant manager Paul Buckle as chief. His 600-second reign is the shortest managerial reign in the history of English football.
It’s safe to say it will never be beaten.
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