What Impact Does A Managerial Change Have On A Team's Fortunes?

Richard Smith by Richard Smith / 29 May 2013, 09:37

Since the end of the 2011/2012 season, 55 of the 92 teams that make up the Football League made a managerial change. That figure doesn't include the 11 changes and one suspension that have occurred since the end of the season either!

As a result of a frenetic 12 months on the 'managerial merry-go-round', The Sack Race statisticians have been number crunching to answer the question, "just what impact a change in manager has on a club?"

Obviously, mangers move for a variety of reasons; some are sacked, some resign and some are poached by other clubs. We've taken a look at all 55 clubs that either called a change in the dugout or had it forced upon them before or during the 2012/2013 season, considering the win % of the exiting boss and league position at the time of departure together with the win % of the replacement gaffer and final league position.

  • The stats paint a clear picture that a managerial change doesn't always result in an upturn in fortunes after 10 of the 12 sides relegated across all four divisions changed managers during the season.
  • In comparison, only four of the ten sides promoted did so following a change in manager before or during the season.
  • During the 2012/2013 season, the average managerial change resulted in an improved league position of just 1.18 places.
  • The biggest impact a manager had on a team during the 2012/2013 season was Eddie Howe at AFC Bournemouth. Howe took over The Cherries on the 12th October with the club sitting 21st in the League One relegation zone. A total of 23 wins from 35 league games (25 from 39 in all competition) saw Bournemouth surge up the table to finish second and win promotion to the Championship following a change of 19 places in the table.
  • The worst managerial decision of the season came at Blackburn Rovers who parted company with Steve Kean in September with the club sat third in the Championship. Three managerial appointments later and the Lancashire club finished 17th a drop of 14 positions.
  • The most ironic managerial change of the season came courtesy of Dean Saunders. The former Aston Villa, Liverpool and Wales striker turned his back on Doncaster Rovers when his side where sat second in League One in January. His destination was Molineux where he was assigned the task of steering Wolverhampton Wanderers, then 18th in the Championship, clear of relegation. Just five wins from 20 games resulted in Wolves slipping five places to 23rd and were relegated. Doncaster went on to win promotion, meaning the two clubs switched places and Saunders was duly sacked by Wolves.


Managers Departed

Last man down

Gary Bowyer
Gary Bowyer
6th August

Premier League

Next Manager to Leave


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Leicester City

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Manchester United

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Newcastle United

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Republic of Ireland

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