Sack The Manager?
With Avram Grant the latest casualty of sack happy chairmen striving for the ultimate success, Vital QPR takes a look at the reasons as to why such decisions are made.
Studies performed at Cambridge University suggest that consideration of sacking a football manager can depend on three possible influences:
1) The length of the honeymoon period during which it will not consider sacking a new manager.
2) The level of the trapdoor, the average number of points scored per game; if the manager`s record falls below this he will get the sack.
3) The weight that it will give to more recent games compared to earlier ones, in evaluating the manager`s performance.
The study suggests a definitive catch 22 situation, with every chairman searching for that midas touch of a Brian Clough, they wander from manager to manager, contract to contract, continuing to shell out millions of pounds in severance pay which may be better served being spent on the playing side.
But persisting with a mediocre manager may result in a dip in performance levels, and further still relegation and further loss in revenue. So when is the right time to say to a manager that his honeymoon period is over?
Rangers boss Iain Dowie can testify on being on the harsh side of a hasty managerial sacking at Charlton Athletic lasting only 15 games. Bradford`s Chris Hutchings was sacked in November 2000 after just only 12 games, giving you an idea of the footballing climate that we live in.
The study itself found that the honeymoon period could be defined on average as only 8 games, thus the desired, midas touch or immediate impact should be self-evident during the initial period.
The average number of points per game determined for a manager to keep his job was 0.74. The last five fixtures that a team has encountered makes up a staggering 47% of chairman`s decision making process.
According to the study by Cambridge University a team following the criteria above will achieve an average of 56.8 points per season, higher than the 2003 Premier League average of 51.8 points. Thus staying in the division at a canter.
With managers being shipped in and out in numbers, it is easy to see how theories such as the one purported above should work. In theory if every manager had a honeymoon period there would be no need for loyalty in football. As that new manager feeling would sweep across football with the merry-go-round in full swing.
However from what we see in the modern football climate, it is a game of chance. A game that Milan Mandaric continues to lose to Leicester City`s detriment. Even QPR to an extent are starting to become a club of many managers after so few for so long.
Holloway reigned at Loftus Road for 5 years, since his sacking, Rangers have gone through three managers; Gary Waddock, John Gregory and Luigi De Canio, without beating Holloway`s league position and points tally in the R`s first spell back in the division.
Is the secret to success in the loyalty to managers and clubs in the case of Sir Alex Ferguson, and Arsene Wenger, even in the case of Charlton Athletic and Alan Curbishly, just look how far they`ve dropped since dumping the manager that 'took them as far as he could`. Or is there a case to be heard for managers that can come in and do the job for a few months of success, before moving on, in the case of Luigi De Canio, and potentially Iain Dowie.
With talk of phases of projects still looming large, it seems a different project leader is capable of performing different tasks. It seems Luigi was capable of keeping teams up, and Dowie capable of getting teams up, so once promotion is undoubtedly achieved in the eyes of the owners, does Dowie then get the chop?
The only certainty in management in the modern era, is that there is no certainties. One week you can reach the Champions League Final, and the next, you are handed your P45 and looking for work once more.
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