Is it me, of is the average lifespan of a football manager in England getting shorter? Itchy club chairmen, looking for short-term results, see nothing wrong in getting rid of managers after a few months, or in some cases, weeks.
Spare a thought for both Luiz Felipe Scolari of Chelsea and Tony Adams of Portsmouth, the latest casualties of this ‘hire and fire’ culture. Scolari, who helped Brazil to win the World Cup, and has a great record at both club and international level, was surprisingly sacked by Chelsea after a few months in the post, despite the fact that the team are third in the Premiership, and still in both the Champions’ League and the FA Cup. Adams was a first-time manager after having a great playing career at Arsenal before turning to coaching at Portsmouth. He was fired after the team had gone through a poor run of results, which included going out of the FA Cup at the fourth round. This was not helped by the fact that they lost several key players during the season. The final straw came when they lost to title challengers Liverpool 2-3, having lead 2-1 earlier in the game.
I believe that most club chairmen are all too ready to press the panic button when things go wrong. Sometimes they need to be patient with their managers, and only take action when a situation becomes too much of a problem. Surely something must be done to halt this trend. I recommend a plan where managers stay under contract to their clubs for approximately one year. Chairmen then wouldn’t be allowed to just dismiss them, but to give them enough time to get on with the job.
Maybe the FA and the leagues need to get together to resolve this.