Growing impact of social media on managerial departures

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 14 August 2015, 09:50

The world today is heavily dominated by social media, which has a huge impact on our daily lives, changing the way we create, share and view information. Constant developments in online communications means that we, the "normal folk", have been handed a fascinating insight into the engrossing world of celebrity.

This, of course, includes the sport's domain, football in particular, with both players and managers using mediums, like twitter, as a platform to connect and engage with supporters.

Thoughts, and often raw emotions, can be aired in an instant through tweets, pictures and videos, which have the potential to flare up and go viral in seconds. However, in many high-profile circumstances this has led to trouble, with a number of players fined for naughty comments.

On Wednesday a remarkable video erupted out of nowhere, showing Paulo Wanchope involved in a bizarre brawl with a security guard at an U-23 Olympic qualifier in Panama. Soon enough the snippet had gone viral, and shortly after the former Derby striker resigned from his post in charge of the Costa Rica national team.

Wanchope Brawl

Below we take a look at a few other examples of how social media has played a pivotal role in leading to a managerial dismissal.

Nigel Pearson (Leicester City)

Despite a catalogue of debatable actions last season, it was difficult not to feel a shred of sympathy for Nigel Pearson when he was harshly sent packing back in June. Just six weeks earlier the ostrich-adoring boss had miraculously saved Leicester City from plummeting back down to the Championship, following a simply stunning accumulation of seven wins from their final nine games.

The decision to axe Pearson half-a-dozen weeks later came after his son James, along with fellow players Adam Smith and Tom Hopper, filmed themselves engaging in sex acts with three Thai girls, with whom they racially abused, during the club's shamed post-season tour of Thailand (the three players were later sacked).

The video was leaked and unsurprisingly spread like wildfire, subsequently piling pressure on Pearson, who then lost his job a few weeks later. Leicester pinned the decision on a breakdown of relations between Pearson and the club's owners, however the racist sex tape was undoubtedly a major contributing factor.

Miguel Herrera (Mexico)

Less than two days after leading Mexico to glory in the 2015 Copa America, the colourful Miguel Herrera was sacked after allegedly punching a TV reporter. Part of the confrontation, which took place at Philadelphia airport, was reportedly caught on camera, although the punch was not.

Back in October 2013 Herrera became El Tri's fourth manager in the space of just six weeks. The 47-year-old was a lively presence on the sidelines, famed for his animated actions, funny facial expressions, and feisty nature, and fingers crossed he is back in the managerial arena soon.

Alan Pardew (Newcastle)

Ok, Alan Pardew wasn't fired from his job at Newcastle, but the 54-year-old endured a stream of hate from many supporters for a lengthy period of time, before eventually leaving for Crystal Palace mid-way through last season.

The decision proved to be an ingenious one for Pardew, who proceeded to lead the Eagles to a top-10 finish for the first time in the club's history, whereas the Magpies completely collapsed, only avoiding relegation on the final day of the campaign.

During his time in charge of Newcastle Pardew led the north east club to an impressive 5th place finish (2011/12), although from then onwards it was a downwards spiral, with Pardew forced to sell the club's best players.

This, combined with poor results, meant a large volume of fans turned on the silver fox, resulting in the creation of the infamous "Sack Pardew" website, which was responsible for frequent protests demanding his dismissal. However, it looks as if Pardew has had the last laugh on this one...

David Moyes (Man Utd)

David Moyes experienced a similar situation at Manchester United, although the stinging criticism directed towards the Scot was over a shorter period of time. To put it simply, Moyes endured a 10-month horror show at Old Trafford, during which United broke a plethora of unwanted records.

Finally, in April, Moyes was given the boot following a defeat to his former employers Everton, oh the irony. It was during that match that bookmakers Paddy Power pulled off a savage publicity stunt, with the bookmakers sending someone dressed as the Grim Reaper to Goodison Park (google image it!), which unsurprisingly heaved more pressure on the sorry Scot.

From early on in his short-lived tenure the 52-year-old was heavily panned on social media, in particular twitter, where he was ruthlessly torn apart from all angles. When the, inevitable, news broke that Moyes had been axed, many supporters reacted in jubilation.

Manchester City fans however loved the impact that David Moyes was having on their bitter rivals.

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Mark Cooper
Mark Cooper
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