The Lifespan Of A Big Five Manager

The Lifespan Of A Big Five Manager
Who would be a football manager? Yes, the allure of winning trophies and being paid handsomely for your efforts is rather appealing, but at the same time, it is not necessarily a role that offers much in the way of long-term stability. Gone are the days when the man in charge would leave a long-lasting legacy and the length of service offered by the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger is filed in the era otherwise known as ‘bygone’ However, the clamour to manage at the very highest level never seems to dissipate and whenever one coach is given his marching orders, there is always another man ready and willing to fill his shoes.

With the demands of club owners growing with every year, the pressure on the men in the technical area seems to increase and therefore, it comes as no surprise that the stadium exit door at times resembles more of a revolving one.

A viewpoint that the CIES Football Observatory have confirmed recently, after carrying out analysis on the length of managerial reigns across Europe’s “Big Five” leagues and just how short employment spans have become.

Looking at managerial appointments since the start of the 2015 season, it does not make good reading for any head steward looking to put down long term roots and especially if those roots are in the sunnier climbs of LaLiga.

On average, a LaLiga club has a staggering 4.6 managers during a five-season timeframe – that’s almost a manager a season and when you consider that this is an average figure, there are some very trigger happy club owners within the Spanish football landscape.

At the same time, short-termism is not a mindset that is unique to Spain, as Italy’s club owners also tend to get rather itchy feet and their desire for change, has seen an average of 3.9 managers per club in the past five seasons.

Nor is stability a buzzword found in Germany, as the Bundesliga has seen each club use an average of 3.8 managers since the start of 2015/16 season, while Ligue 1 and the Premier League chime in with 3.4 and 3.2, respectively.

Therefore it seems as if the sack race is a race that no one really wants to win and although Premier League managers may feel that they are rarely given the time that they deserve, that time is even shorter on the continent.

While although that paints a picture from a competition point of view, it is even more staggering when broken down per club and if you are ever considering taking the Udinese job, you may just want to rent rather than buy property in the local area.

The Udine outfit have gone through a staggering 10 different appointments since the start of the 2015/16 season, on average this equates to each new face being in charge for just 19 matches – not even half a Serie A season.

Of course, that is the more extreme of the measure, but it is not much better reading if you are considering work in Valencia. The Peter Lim owned club has gone through eight different appointments since 2015 and Gary Neville’s ill-fated tenure suddenly does not look as bad.

While Everton fly the flag for Premier League instability, no fewer than seven men have had the task of leading the Toffees’ into battle and this equates to no more than an average of 27.3 matches per reign.

Ultimately, this snapshot into length of service highlights, just how cut-throat the managerial industry can be and with it being very much a results business, it only takes a lack of them for a termination to soon follow.


Written by Dan Tracey

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