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Dublin: 21 °C Wednesday 12 August, 2020

Does sacking your manager actually work in the Premier League? Here are some stats

Gus Poyet became the latest manager to be dismissed, after his departure from Sunderland was announced earlier.

Poyet's departure from Sunderland was confirmed earlier today.
Poyet's departure from Sunderland was confirmed earlier today.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

SINCE THE PREMIER League began, an average of eight teams have parted ways with their manager per season.

More often than not, managers leave during the season, and it’s invariably not of their own volition.

Today, Sunderland dismissed Gus Poyet — the fourth consecutive season in which they have sacked a manager during the campaign.

With more at stake than ever in modern football, the number of managers getting the boot has inevitably increased substantially over the years.

Given that this phenomenon is becoming more commonplace all the time, we decided to try to discern whether sacking your manager during the season is ultimately a successful policy more often than not.

The figures below are a list of all the managers who have been sacked in the past five campaigns.

Listed beside the managers in question is the position the club were at when they were dismissed, followed by the position the club finished at the end of the season in question.

Keep in mind, we have excluded managers who left clubs by mutual consent, as well as those who were sacked pre or post-season.

In total, 27 managers have been sacked mid-season in the last five years, including Poyet.

Excluding the Uruguayan, of the 26 who were dismissed, there were 11 positive results (i.e. the team improved on their position at the end of the season).

Meanwhile, nine clubs were ultimately worse off after parting with the manager, and six were in the same position come the campaign’s conclusion.

The figures below are obviously imperfect. For instance, Chelsea were ostensibly worse off after sacking André Villas-Boas — finishing sixth whereas they were previously fifth — but those stats do not take into account their Champions League win in the same season under Roberto Di Matteo.

Ultimately, the figures suggest a club is only slightly more likely to benefit by sacking a manager, though they, of course, only take into account the short-term impact such changes have on the team in question.


Chris Hughton (Newcastle) – 11th – 12th

Sam Allardyce (Blackburn) – 13th – 15th

Roy Hodgson (Liverpool) – 12th – 6th

Roberto Di Matteo (West Brom) – 17th – 11th


Steve Bruce (Sunderland) – 16th – 13th

Neil Warnock (QPR) – 17th – 17th

Mick McCarthy (Wolves) – 18th – 20th

André Villas-Boas (Chelsea) – 5th – 6th


Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea) – 3rd – 3rd

Mark Hughes (QPR) – 20th – 20th

Nigel Adkins (Southampton) – 15th – 14th

Brian McDermott (Reading) – 19th – 19th

Martin O’Neill (Sunderland) – 16th – 17th


Paolo Di Canio (Sunderland) – 20th – 14th

Ian Holloway (Crystal Palace) – 19th – 11th

Martin Jol (Fulham) – 18th – 19th

Steve Clarke (West Brom) – 16th – 17th

André Villas-Boas (Tottenham) – 7th – 6th

Malky Mackay (Cardiff) – 16th – 20th

Michael Laudrup (Swansea) – 12th – 12th

Rene Meulensteen (Fulham) – 20th -19th

Chris Hughton (Norwich) – 17th – 18th

David Moyes (Man United) – 7th – 7th

2014/15 (based on current standings)

Neil Warnock (Crystal Palace) – 18th – 12th

Alan Irvine (West Brom) – 16th – 13th

Paul Lambert (Aston Villa) – 18th – 16th

Gus Poyet (Sunderland) – 17th – ?

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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