You’re Fired! 8 Premier League Managers Who Lasted the Least Amount of Time in a New Season

Frank de Boer’s shock sacking has split opinion, with some believing that the Crystal Palace board’s decision to part ways with the former Ajax and Inter Milan boss just four games into the season is somewhat premature.

Whatever side of the fence you fall on though, it is impossible to deny that his sacking is one of the earliest into a campaign in Premier League history.

But where does it compare in comparison to the rest of the early sackings…

8. Howard Wilkinson

Wilinson and Venables watch on

Number of Premier League games sacked into a season: 5

Kicking us off is Howard Wilkinson, who was shown the boot by Leeds United very early on into the 1996/97 season. Having taken the Whites into the top flight, Wilkinson then masterminded title success the season prior to the Premier League’s formation.

Yet, he could not establish the Yorkshire club as title contenders thereon after and the board finally lost patience five games into the season, after a bitter 4-0 home defeat to rivals Manchester United.

7. Paolo Di Canio

West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland  - Premier League

Number of Premier League games sacked into a season: 5

Paolo Di Canio was Sunderland’s knight in shining armour at the back end of the 2012/13 campaign, coming in and saving the Black Cats from relegation, which included a memorable win at St James’ Park.

A busy summer transfer window saw the Italian bring in no less than 13 new faces, including Sunderland legends Cabral and Charis Mavrias, but a single point from a possible fifteen prompted the former striker to be sacked.  

6. Gianluca Vialli

Gianluca Vialli

Number of Premier League games sacked into a season: 5

Vialli won four trophies in West London as a player and then five more while managing the Blues, but a poor start to the 2000/01 season, combined with a public fall-out with several players, convinced Chelsea to part ways with the Italian.

The former Juventus and Sampdoria striker even managed to clinch the Charity Shield over Manchester United and defeat West Ham in the season’s opener, but it was all to avail as a 0-0 draw with Newcastle would be his final match in charge.

5. Peter Reid

Peter Reid

Number of Premier League games sacked into a season: 4

In what was his first job after retiring from playing, Peter Reid made a positive start to life as Manchester City boss in 1990, finishing in 5th in two consecutive seasons after being hired. But, life in the Premier League was a completely different story.

A ninth place finish in the inaugural season led to consistent criticism of his tactics and a draw and three successive defeats at the start of the 1993/94 campaign left the former England international without a job. 

4. Sir Bobby Robson

Newcastle United's manager Sir Bobby Rob

Number of Premier League games sacked into a season: 4

No one would dare doubt the legacy that Sir Bobby Robson built on Tyneside nowadays, but four games into the 2004/05 season left Newcastle United in the relegation zone after picking up just two points.

The 4-2 defeat away to Aston Villa was the final straw and the former England boss was given his marching orders, before September after spending five years in the hotseat at St James’ Park. 

3. Frank de Boer

Burnley v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Number of Premier League games sacked into a season: 4

The latest entry to the list and although Frank de Boer now holds the record as the manager with the shortest Premier League reign in total games, he is beaten when it comes being sacked in the least amount of matches into a season. 

Crystal Palace aimed to change their philosophy by hiring the ex-Dutch international but his fluid style did not match the Eagles’ capabilities and the South London club sit bottom of the table having lost each of their opening four games.

2. Paul Sturrock

Manchester City v Southampton

Number of Premier League games sacked into a season: 2

Despite only taking over the Southampton job from Gordon Strachan in March, Paul Sturrock was subject to the wield of the axe by August, just two games into the 2004/05 Premier League season.

With both players and the board unsatisfied by the former Plymouth Argyle manager’s performance, not even a home win over Blackburn Rovers could convince the Saints to stick with Sturrock for any longer.

1. Kenny Dalglish

Portrait of Newcastle United manager Kenny Dalglish

Number of Premier League games sacked into a season: 2

A minor blotch on what otherwise was a successful career as a top flight manager, Kenny Dalglish did not make it to the third game of Newcastle United’s 1998/99 season, despite failing to lose either of his first two games.

Nonetheless, two draws, added to the suspect form in the back end of the previous campaign, persuaded chairman Freddie Shepherd to give the Liverpool legend the sack and replace him with Ruud Gullit. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.