Chronicling every managerial departure from the 2018/19 Football League season

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 07 May 2019, 13:59

A whopping 37 managers departed their posts during the standard 2018/19 Football League season; from Gary Bowyer’s surprise decision to leave Blackpool in the hazy days of August to the final change of the campaign late in April when Plymouth axed Derek Adams.

Below we map each and every one of the 37 managerial changes that took place, nine of which occurred in the Championship, a sizeable 15 from League One, and a further 13 from League Two.

Click here for the complete list of 2018/19 Managerial Casualties

August = 5

  • Championship: 0
  • League One: 2
  • League Two: 3

If anyone expected a tranquil opening month then they were in for a rude awakening as five managers cleared their desks in August, the first of which came after a single game week (Gary Bowyer, Blackpool).

Gary Johnson was then axed by Cheltenham, although it wasn’t all bad for Lee’s dad as he made a swift return to management with Torquay the following month, whom he went on to lead to the National League South title.

Nick Daws was given the boot by Scunthorpe 91 days after he was officially appointed on a full-time basis, and Notts County axed Kevin Nolan, who a few months earlier had steered the club into the play-offs, then proceeded to steal Harry Kewell from League Two rivals Crawley Town. But that didn’t work out too well…

September = 2

  • Championship: 0
  • League One: 1
  • League Two: 1

September proved to be rather mellow in comparison as just the two managers were shepherded off to the guillotine.

Michael Collins was sacked 77 days and a meagre seven games after he bagged the Bradford job in the summer, then Northampton ditched Dean Austin at the close of the month after he registered only one win from the club’s opening 12 matches.

October = 4

  • Championship: 3
  • League One: 0
  • League Two: 1

The Championship finally joined the party in October, with a bang too, as three managers were relieved of their duties. Aston Villa lost patience with Steve Bruce - he returned to the dugout with Sheffield Wednesday in February - and was replaced by Dean Smith, who made the decision to leave Brentford after three years at the helm.

Thirdly, Ipswich’s Paul Hurst experiment came to an end after 148 days following a return of one win from 14 matches.

Another summer appointment that failed to work out came in League Two, as Football League new boys Macclesfield wielded the axe upon Mark Yates.

 

November = 4

  • Championship: 0
  • League One: 2
  • League Two: 2

November started off quietly but then a savage three-day spell (11-13) condemned four managers to the Job Centre.

Neal Ardley departed AFC Wimbledon by the good old ‘mutual consent’ after a staggering six years in charge - at the time he was the third longest-serving manager in the top-four tiers. 11 days later he took up the Notts County post, which had been made vacant the day after his exit after Harry Kewell was ruthlessly disposed off after 74 days. The Magpies were the first club to axe two managers in the 2018/19 season.

Swindon sacked Phil Brown after eight months, but the man with the best tan in management returned to the dugout the following month with Indian side Pune City. Shrewsbury then got shot of John Askey.

December = 5

  • Championship: 2
  • League One: 1
  • League Two: 2

Jose Mourinho’s eventual exit from Man Utd snatched the headlines in the days leading up to Christmas, but down in the Football League five managers were cast aside during the final month of 2018.

Paul Clement (Reading) and Jos Luhukay (Sheffield Wednesday) were victims of the Championship Sack Race, and Darrell Clarke’s tenure at League One side Bristol Rovers came to a close following a plateau, 18 months after he’d led the club to back-to-back promotions up to the third-tier.

In League Two, Joe Dunne was sacked by Cambridge, and a 6-0 hammering at the hands of Carlisle forced Oldham to act as they terminated Frankie Bunn’s contract after six months.

January = 6

  • Championship: 2
  • League One: 2
  • League Two: 2

It wasn’t a great start to the year for a handful of managers as five gaffers lost their jobs in January, while another boss jumped up a division.

Back in the summer Gary Rowett made the controversial decision to switch Derby for Stoke, a move which ultimately backfired as the Potters gave him the boot in January after a disappointing opening half of the season. His replacement at the Britannia, Nathan Jones, was then lured over from Luton.

Aitor Karanka decided to leave Nottingham Forest after a year at the helm, and Peterborough surprisingly sacked Steve Evans and then swiftly re-appointed Darren Ferguson. The club were 6th at the time.

Elsewhere, John Sheridan resigned from his post at Carlisle, and returned to former club Chesterfield, with whom he’d go on to lead to National League safety.

February = 1

  • Championship: 0
  • League One: 1
  • League Two: 0

A period of calmness followed the chaotic scenes of January with David Hopkin the only Football League casualty. The Scot, who had been linked with Bradford in the summer, replaced Michael Collins in September but then six months later he became the club’s fifth managerial casualty in a year. Gary Bowyer was appointed in March but was unable to keep the Bantams in League One.

March = 6

  • Championship: 1
  • League One: 3
  • League Two: 2

The workings of the managerial arena returned to normal in March as six gaffers left their posts, one of which was rookie boss Paul Scholes who threw the towel in at Oldham after just 31 days. No doubt much to the delight of Jose Mourinho.

Darren Moore was surprisingly sacked by West Brom, a club who were 4th in the Championship, and the long-standing relationship between Keith Hill and Rochdale came to a close after 2232 days.

Darren Way’s spell at Yeovil ended after 1179 days, Southend cut ties with Chris Powell, and Scunthorpe made their second change of the season after they dismissed Stuart McCall.

April = 4

  • Championship: 1
  • League One: 3
  • League Two: 0

The season’s final full month witnessed the final four changes, the first of which came on April Fool’s Day: Steve McClaren, who paid the price for carving out one win from his final 15 matches.

Dean Keates was sacked by Walsall, who were then relegated down to League Two, as were Plymouth who had handed Derek Adams his P45 one game before the end of the season. Gillingham’s Steve Lovell also lost his job, the 15th League One casualty of the campaign, and the 37th in the Football League.

May = 0

  • Championship: 0
  • League One: 0
  • League Two: 0

Nothing to report here, but you can expect a number of manager moves now the league season has come to its conclusion.

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Managers Departed

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