The Premier League Sacking Epidemic

Five top flight managers have been sacked this season: Roberto Di Matteo, Mark Hughes, Nigel Adkins, Brian McDermott and Martin O’Neill. Are they justifiable?

Roberto Di Matteo was installed as interim manager till the end of the season for Chelsea FC in 2011/2012 season; he went on to achieve a historic win of the Champions League trophy. A trophy which the billionaire owner has been dreaming about for years, this led to Di Matteo being given the job permanently. Di Matteo began the season well but after a few bad results he was sacked after just 8 months in charge. This decision was met with controversy as Di Matteo had won two major trophies in his short time at Chelsea and Rafa Benitez was later installed as interim manager until the end of the season. The sacking was certainly a debatable decision and personally I think he should have been a little more time to turn around Chelsea’s form, but ultimately I feel the owners had a replacement until Di Matteo threw a spanner in the works by winning the Champions League, a replacement which we may see at the end of this current season.

The remaining managers who lost their jobs were all placed at relegation threatened clubs and Mark Hughes was the first to go. Hughes’s second season in charge gave QPR their worst ever start, going 12 games without a win and leading to him being replaced by Harry Redknapp. This is one decision I feel was justified choice as QPR had to make a change before things got too far.

Nigel Adkins and Brian McDermott both managed to get their teams promoted to the premier league against all odds in the previous season. Nigel Adkins helped guide Southampton to back to back promotions to reach the premier league, but was sacked in January and replaced swiftly by Mauricio Pochettino. The decision was seen as a shock to many however Pochettino has given Southampton a new confidence in their play and are now almost safe from the relegation scrap. My judgement of the sacking of Adkins was that of it was a little hasty but with the changes Pochettino has made it can only be seen to have worked out for Southampton as they seem to be closing in on another season in the top flight.

On the 6th of February Brian McDermott was named Manager of the month for January after a good run of results for Reading FC, a month later he was sacked. Four consecutive losses for Reading led to McDermott losing his job and he was replaced by Nigel Adkins. In my opinion I feel the decision was due to panicking by the board and I feel McDermott earned the right to little more time.

The most recent manager to lose his job was Martin O’Neill after achieving only 3 points out of a possible 24 from the previous 8 games for Sunderland. With only 7 games remaining the timing of the sacking is seen as a bizarre decision, as it often takes time for a manager to implement their changes. My opinion is the choice was a wrong one due to the timing and feels the board should have considered making a change a little earlier or stuck with O’Neill.

Interestingly there is another factor which is rumoured to have influenced many of the relegation threatened clubs decisions. This is due to the new rules which come into play next season. The rules restrict clubs wage budget based on their income and relegation from the Premier League means a big loss in income. The new rules are seen as a good way to stop wage budgets spiralling out of control and prevent clubs from having huge losses and putting themselves in financial danger. In spite of positive rule change has the new rules panicked owners into a sacking epidemic and made the decisions become even more questionable?

I for one can’t wait to see whether the decisions prevail for the clubs and feel the remaining 7 games are going to be very interesting with utmost tension and nerves for fans.

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