A Year On The Chopping Block: The Sack Race Reviews 2012 On the Managerial Merry-Go-Round

Richard Smith by Richard Smith / 18 December 2012, 13:25

The words "managerial merry-go-round", "chopping block", "facing the axe", "firing line" and "must win game" are words that are synonymous with football these days, we here at thesackrace.com are as guilty as anyone of contributing to these clichés within the football lexicon. As such, in our bid to try and figure out whether the use of such phrases are justified and the only conclusion we can draw is that "the sack race" is alive and well and here's why...

In 2012, a total of 48 clubs changed managers, that's 52% of the 92 teams that make up the Premier League and Football League! A total of 109 gaffers have been on the managerial merry-go-round since the start of the year; 54 new managers were appointed and 55* departed at a rate of over four managers leaving every month!

The top flight saw nine teams make a managerial change in 2012, most of them through choice of their chairman or owners to wield the axe, in their relentless pursuit of success. To this extent, Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers are now both on to their third manager in the space of a year. In fact, across all four divisions, eight clubs are on their third manger in under 12 months!

The time served by the average manager departing in 2012 was 23 months, having taken charge of an average of 102 games.

League Two is the busiest division for chopping and changing with 13 teams choosing either to swing the axe or forced to find replacements after losing their managers to other teams. However, since the start of the new season back in August, League One has seen the most casualties with six teams, that's 25% of club in the division, now under the leadership of a new boss before we have even reached the half way stage!

October saw the most managerial changes of the year as eight teams found themselves searching for new managers. The Sack Race can only think that this is a result of the magical "after 10 games" mark, which falls during October; the time of the season where owners, chairman and fans have had enough time to see if the club is capable of having a good season and if the signs aren't positive, enough time remains to salvage it if a new manager can work his magic.

Whether 2013 can surpass the activity of 2012 remains to be seen, however, with more at stake than ever before, we at thesackrace.com are prepared for another rollercoaster 12 months.

2012 Sack Race Stats

  • Number of mangers departed: 55
  • Number of managers appointed: 54
  • Average tenure of a manager sacked in 2012: 23 months (102 games in charge)

Here's the full list of managerial changes in 2012

Premier League Departed Months
in charge
in Charge
ChelseaAVBMarch840Di Matteo March
 Di Matteo November842BenitezNovember
TottenhamRedknappJune44198AVB July
West BromHodgsonMay1554ClarkeJune
LiverpoolDalglish May1674RodgersJune
NorwichLambert June34142HughtonJune
Aston VillaMcLeishMay1142LambertJune
Crystal PalaceFreedmanOctober 2192HollowayNovember
Hull CityBarmbyMay633BruceJune
Nottingham ForestCotterillJuly938O'DriscollJuly
Leeds UnitedGraysonFebruary37169WarnockFebruary
BurnleyHoweOctober 2087DycheOctober
BoltonCoyleOctober 33126FreedmanOctober
IpswichJewellOctober 2186McCarthyNovember
Sheff WedsMegsonFebruary1262JonesMarch
League One      
Notts CountyAllenFeb1043Curle Feb
StevenageWestley January43202SmithJanuary
Preston    WestleyJanuary
PortsmouthAppleton November1251WhittinghamNovember
HartlepoolCooper October1040HughesNovember
League Two      
Rochdale    ColemanJanuary
AFC WimbledonBrownSeptember44266ArdleyOctober
Bristol RoversBuckleJanuary729McGheeJanuary
MacclesfieldSimpson March24111HortonMarch
HerefordPitman March1780O'KellyMarch

*The discrepancy between managers departed and managers appointed occurs from the inclusion of Macclesfield Town and Hereford United, both of whom sacked their respective mangers in 2012 when in League Two before being relegated.

Betting Odds Tips

Managers Departed

Last man down

Harry Kewell
Harry Kewell
(Oldham Athletic)
7th March
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