English football is on course for its highest ever number of managerial casualties after a bleak end to 2015 for the men in charge of its clubs.
The League Managers Association’s Mid-Season Manager Statistics report, which was released on Monday as Scunthorpe boss Mark Robins and Orient’s Ian Hendon became the latest to be shown the door, makes grim reading with the figures suggesting the all-time high of 53 dismissals in 2001-02 could be exceeded by the end of the current campaign.
The statistics show that 34 managers were either sacked or resigned between June 1 and December 31 last year, two more than the previous high of 27 by the same point in the 2014-15 campaign.
For those who have departed - 29 were relieved of their duties and five left of their own volition - the average reign amounted to just 1.58 years.
Six of them - Leicester’s Nigel Pearson, Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers, Sunderland’s Dick Advocaat, Aston Villa’s Tim Sherwood, Swansea’s Garry Monk and former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho - left Barclays Premier League clubs.
However, it was the Sky Bet Championship in which the profession was most precarious with no fewer than 10 managers parting company with their respective clubs during the same period compared with six in League One and seven in League Two.
Indeed, the second tier has proved to be something of a graveyard for managers in recent years with with no fewer than 20 changes during the whole of last season, although Watford and Leeds alone accounted for seven of those between them.
However, it is in League One where the man in the hot-seat appears to have the least time in which to try to establish himself. The average tenure for those in post on December 31 amounted to just 1.17 years as opposed to 2.13 years in the Premier League, 1.37 years in the Championship and 1.63 years in League Two.
The figures contain depressing news for new bosses in particular with eight of the 29 dismissed having been in their first post.
On a more positive note, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger continues to fly the flag after more than 19 years in the job and 1095 games under his belt by the turn of the year. Exeter’s Paul Tisdale is his closest competitor after 9.52 years in his job.
But while the Frenchman and fellow top-flight bosses Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce occupy first, third and fourth places in the list of current
managers who had taken charge of the most games by the end of December, the lower leagues are represented too with Chesterfield’s Danny Wilson
in second and Hartlepool’s Ronnie Moore in fifth.