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Hire and fire: The perilous business of being a boss in the Championship

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Football management has always been a precarious business – and it seems it is becoming increasingly so. Last season, there were 19 managerial changes in the Championship alone, 13 of them sackings while six resigned.

That brought the average tenure of a Championship manager down to just 1.04 years.

The remarkable statistics, compiled by the League Managers' Association, show that managers are getting less and less time to do their job than ever before.

It should be noted, however, eight of last season's managerial changes came at three clubs, Blackburn Rovers (three changes), Nottingham Forest (three) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (two).

The previous average tenure of a Championship manager for the 2011-12 season was 1.96 years, meaning the average has been almost halved in a season.

The Championship was the league with the highest number of managerial changes and eight of these dismissals were between Christmas and the end of the season, and the average tenure of those eight was just 0.67 years

Seven Championship managers were sacked within one year of appointment, and five of them within six months.

The longest serving manager in the Championship is Nigel Clough at Derby County, who has been with the club for just under four-and-a-half years.

Last season may have been an exceptional year, due mainly to the managerial shenanigans at Rovers and Wolves, but it shows once again that the demands for immediate success are even greater than they have ever been.

The new television deal negotiated by the Premier League, which rewarded the promoted clubs with an estimated £120million cash injection, may certainly have been a factor in the actions of twitchy owners, anxious that their clubs get a slice of the lucrative pie before Financial Fair Play really kicks in.

Those that receive vast amounts in the Premier League will now have a distinct advantage over the rest of the Championship should they be relegated if they are prudent with the money.

But it isn't just the Championship where the pressure told on many managers.

In the Premier League, the average tenure is 2.81 years but, according to the LMA, the figure is raised by the dismissal in May of Tony Pulis after 6.94 years. Without this, average tenure for the season would be 1.72 years.

That figure is still better than League One, where the average is 1.37.

League Two fairs better at 2.57 years although, again, the LMA say this is down to the reigns of Terry Brown, of Wimbledon, and Mickey Mellon, at Fleetwood Town, who served for several years in non-league.

Taking that into account, they say the actual figure should be 1.66.

In total, there were more than 100 managers and coaches dismissed during the last campaign across all four divisions.

It is hard to think of any other profession where there exists such a hire and fire culture.

It must surely say more about the ability of those hiring to spot the right candidate than it does about the manager's own ability.

Hire and fire: The perilous business of being a  boss in the Championship


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