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Managing Hell

Many of us waste hours of our life on games such as Football Manager, thinking that we can do a better job than the current man at the helm of our local club (and a lot of the time we can). Taking lowly conference sides to dizzying premiership heights and champions league success has become many a man’s dreams. But the truth is that the life of a football manager is no longer a glamorous and enjoyable life to lead. Contracts are rarely worth the paper they are written on and with a string of poor results now making a sacking a huge possibility, it isn’t a career for the weak hearted.

Roman Abramovich, the man who has poured millions into Chelsea making them a force to be reckoned with, is now on his NINTH manager since he took over in 2003. With the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo, who had bought the club their first Champions League title and another FA Cup, Abramovich has outraged Chelsea fans. The quick announcement of Rafa Benitez as interim manager has hardly pleased them either, and with Benitez’s time in charge of the club surely set to end next summer Abramovich will be on ten managers in ten years.

Only two managers, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, have lasted more than a year at the club and the average reign of a manager at Chelsea under Abramovich is now only eight months. The club have spent approximately £86 million on compensation for managers since Abramovich took over. Pep Guardiola is expected to be named Chelsea manager before next season, with Abramovich expected to do anything possible to bring the ex Barcelona manager to his club.

Loyalty doesn’t mean anything to chairmen any more, recent results are all that matter. Another example of this is Mark Hughes. After being appointed in January of this year it has took only ten months to see him given his marching orders. Out of the 20 current Premier League managers, nine have been in their job less than a year and only four managers have been at their club for more than five years.

Of course as those four managers show loyalty and structure can be hugely successful.  When Manchester United take on Queens Park Rangers later today it will show both sides clearly. In the QPR camp you have caretaker managers in charge with new manager Harry Redknapp watching from the stands. On the other hand you have the hugely respected Sir Alex Ferguson who has now been in charge of Manchester United for over 26 years and yesterday had a statue erected in his honour outside of Old Trafford.

It’s good to see that in a world where contracts can be terminated on the back of a few bad games that managers like Sir Alex, Arsene Wenger, David Moyes and Tony Pulis can continue to succeed at their respective clubs.

Nathan Salt