Bizarre Managerial Sackings
With the likes of Henning Berg spending Christmas 2012 in the dole queue after being given the boot at Blackburn Rovers today – after just 57 days at Ewood Park, managers never know when the axe will fall.
December 27th, 2012
From subtext-packed press conferences given by confused managers, to parody Twitter accounts speculating as to their future, we look now at some of the strangest ways in which a fool and his football club were parted.
It might not be a happy Christmas in the O’ Driscoll household either, with now ex-Forest manager Sean scratching his head at his removal from the City Ground job yesterday. Despite only winning one of their last five games, Forest found themselves just one point off the play-offs following Boxing Day’s comprehensive 4-2 victory against Leeds United – but O’ Driscoll was removed just hours later, prompting speculation that a replacement had already been found. “He can count himself unlucky to have lost his job with the team just one point away from the top six,” Forest chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi said, perhaps with a bitter chuckle.
Britain’s first-ever million-pound player wasn’t quite as prolific during his managerial days – but one brutal chairman picked the wrong day to post his P45. In April 2003, the then-notoriously impatient owner of Crystal Palace, Simon Jordan, broke the news to Francis that his services were no longer required at the club. “’But it’s my birthday,’” he apparently replied.
With a management spell lasting less than two months, Henning Berg’s reign at Rovers may not seem like a lengthy one – but alongside the tumultuous 44-day reign of Brian Clough as Leeds manager in the 70s, Berg should consider himself an old hand by comparison. It’s not so much the nature of the sacking as it is the reign itself – Old Big ‘Ed replaced new England manager Don Revie and immediately made his presence known to his public by decrying everything the previous manager had achieved, calling his new charges “dirty cheats” and implying that their successes came about through unfair play. Clough blamed his sudden departure from the club on bad results, although it’s more widely assumed that the alienation of his star players – plus his own recruitment to the job he hated ahead of fan favourite Johnny Giles – is what led to the acrimonious split.