Troy Deeney

What Is the Shortest Managerial Reign in Premier League History?

When a football manager lands a new job, they go into it with the boundless enthusiasm and energy of a youngster fresh out of school, college or university: I’m going to do things my way, and I’m going to be a huge success. Sometimes it works out as prescribed, and yet other times the whole edifice can come crashing down in a matter of weeks.

Spare a thought for former Premier League striker, Troy Deeney, who probably hoped his first job as a head coach at Forest Green Rovers would become an excellent signpost of his managerial talents. In the end, it became a disaster – and Deeney was sacked after less than a month in charge.

His side failed to win any of his six games in charge, while his rather outspoken methods – Deeney called out a number of his players publicly, commenting: “I was trying to cosy my way into it, but the sledgehammers are going to have to come out and there will be a lot that won’t like it. I don’t really care. At the moment, there’s too many babies from top to bottom.”

He was forced into a rather humiliating apology thereafter, and the comments (however valid) did not ingratiate him to an owner, Dale Vince, renowned for his more diplomatic approach. Deeney was sacked after just 30 days at the helm. He’s not the only manager to get the boot after such a short stint in charge, and even Premier League bosses have been handed their P45s before they’ve had time to arrange their desks how they want them.

Quique Sanchez Flores – 85 Days

Quique Sanchez Flores
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Less than three months and just ten games: that’s how long Quique Sanchez Flores was given to prove himself as Watford manager. The Spaniard was appointed by the club for a second spell in charge on September 7, 2019 – he’d done a pretty good job the first time around, so expectations were high at Vicarage Road.

In his first game, the Hornets came from 0-2 down to draw with Arsenal, so already good feeling started to return on Flores’ watch. However, that was as good as it got. A series of defeats – including a 0-8 shellacking at the hands of Manchester City – meant that Flores was on borrowed time before he had even really begun; a cause not aided by Watford’s rather trigger-happy board of directors. Nobody was really surprised then when the Spaniard got his marching orders on December 1 – just 85 days after his emotional return to the club.

Bob Bradley – 84 Days

Bob Bradley
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After building an impressive coaching CV in America’s Major League Soccer, Bob Bradley was a smart but under-the-radar selection as Swansea City head coach when he was unveiled on October 3, 2016. So under-the-radar, in fact, that the Swansea Supporters Trust – which owned a 21% stake in the club at the time, released a press statement confirming their ‘disappointment’ at the selection.

Bradley’s frequent use of Americanisms, such as ‘road game’ for an away match and ‘PK’ for a penalty kick, saw him lambasted in the media and even parodied on then-popular Saturday morning TV show, Soccer AM. With accusations of cronyism – Swansea’s owners were American, Bradley never really stood a chance in South Wales; so, with a record of W2 D2 L7 and a whopping 29 goals conceded in those eleven games, it was no surprise when he was sacked on December 27.

René Meulensteen – 75 Days

René Meulensteen
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Although he was only in charge of Fulham for 75 days, René Meulensteen managed to cram in 13 games in the dugout. Unlike most of the other head coaches on this list, the Dutchman wasn’t universally unpopular – the Cottagers averaged more than a goal per game scored under his stewardship, albeit they conceded more than two per game too.

Results didn’t really improve either, so after being appointed late in November 2013 he was relieved of his duties in February 2014. Players and fans were stunned. “I was very surprised,” a spokesperson for the club’s supporters trust said. “We had all read that he might have two games to save his job but you just assumed that the performances and fight they showed would have been enough.”

Who Has the Shortest Time as a Manager in the Premier League?

Frank de Boer
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You can measure a short managerial reign in either the number of days spent at the helm or the number of games in charge – for the latter, Frank de Boer’s four-game stint at Crystal Palace may never be matched. The Dutchman swept into Selhurst Park in a blaze of glory in, promising to modernise and revolutionise the Eagles’ playing style. But 77 days later he was gone; humiliated and never to work in England again.

De Boer lost all four of his Premier League games in charge with Palace failing to find the net in any of them – an unwanted ‘record’ stretching back nearly 100 years. His Total Football style, learned from his upbringing at Ajax, simply did not work with a set of players not used to such a possession-based brand of the game. José Mourinho would later call De Boer the ‘worst manager in the history of the Premier League.’ His reign at Crystal Palace was certainly its shortest.

Who Was the Quickest Manager Sacking in the Premier League?

Les Reed
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If it’s the shortest amount of time in charge of a Premier League club you’re after, look no further than Les Reed. He was the head coach of Charlton Athletic between November 14, 2006 and December 24 – that 40-day reign being the shortest in EPL history by some margin.

Reed would win just one game in that time, overseeing a dreadful slump from his players that also saw him knocked out of the FA Cup by Wycombe Wanderers; a club from three divisions below. So bad was his time in charge that the Charlton board were forced to ring him up and sack him on Christmas Eve – the perfect gift for Addicks supporters. Reeds’ reign has become the stuff of cult legend – will anybody ever spend less than 40 days in charge of a Premier League club ever again?