Five bizarre managerial sackings
Just when you thought the managerial merry-go-round had run out of change at the Football Funfair, along comes former Spurs chief Andre Villas-Boas to insist that he’s not a quitter – and be relieved of his duties less than a day later.
December 19th, 2013
Here are more of our favourite tales of managers who couldn’t cut the mustard – or even supply the hot dog buns once their wages had been stopped by overzealous chairmen.
Jozo Gaspar, NK Precko Zagreb
This plucky coach was determined to have a happy Easter earlier in the year when he snuck into another team’s dressing room and lifted a credit card from the wallet of an unsuspecting player; using it to spend £450 on 36 litres of a popular herb liqueur that me and my mates nickname ‘Mick Jagger’.
He was caught when identified making the purchase on CCTV, and again flagged up later when a second similarly-sized purchase was declined on the card.
Leroy Rosenior, Torquay United
Leroy Rosenior’s first spell as manager at Torquay lasted three and a half years, which saw promotion to and relegation from League One, but it’s his second – and far more brief term – which we’re interested in.
Having been unveiled as the new manager at a press conference in 2007 to steady the ship while a new buyer was found for the club, Rosenior lasted all of ten minutes before an announcement was made that the club had been sold and they had their own man waiting in the wings. Paul Buckle duly took the club into the Football League, while Rosenior had to settle for the Football League Show on the BBC.
Martin Jol, Spurs
On the verge of what turned out to be only their second ever home defeat in European competition, Spurs’ top brass had already made up their minds to relieve manager Martin Jol of his duties in October 2007 – but unfortunately for the sake of good manners weren’t able to break the bad news to him themselves before kick-off.
The word spread around the ground during the match, meaning that many Spurs fans were aware of the impending change in leadership before the leader himself; Jol is said to have received a text from his own nephew at half-time asking if the rumours were to be believed. And they were; Jol was dismissed shortly after the 2-1 defeat to Getafe.
Steve Claridge, Millwall
With a playing career as prolific as that of Steve Claridge, one would hope that the same professional courtesies afforded a player of that calibre would extend to early forays into club management. This proved not to be the case for the League Cup winner with Leicester, as he was officially unveiled as Millwall’s new manager in June 2005.
A month later, he was replaced. In the same manner as Mr. Rosenior it’s believed that the new owners had their own man in mind, but nonetheless Claridge departed the club without overseeing a single competitive match.
Vicente Del Bosque, Real Madrid
To finish up, a man who was sacked just hours after delivering a club’s 29th league title – and went on to become the man behind the most successful national side in history. Del Bosque was dismissed from Real Madrid only 48 hours after securing La Liga after four seasons in charge, two league wins, two Champions League titles and many other trophies.
After an extended rest from the game, Del Bosque took up the Spanish national post – and won his first 13 games in a row before winning the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 – the side’s second consecutive European Championship. Whatever the reasons for Del Bosque’s non-renewal with Real, they pale in comparison when you take a look at what he has achieved.