It has been a long seven days in English football with a coachload of managers suddenly out of work – despite long term contracts – all casualties in a sport that now demands noting but victory day in day out. Ambitious investor/owners ambivalent to the statistical realities of losing matches making them impossible to satisfy. With management now amongst those thankless tasks only ameliorated perhaps by the staggering salaries paid to soften the blow of being fired. West Ham dispensing with David Moyes; Paul Lambert leaving Stoke, and even Antonio Conte who led his team to FA Cup victory at Wembley despite the knowledge that next season his services will not be required at Stamford Bridge. Despite winning the Premier League just last season and reach the FA Cup this month.
At Swansea Carlos Carvahlo has departed with Graham Potter and the much-travelled Frank de Boer the leading candidates to take over at the Welsh club - who are looking to appoint their fifth permanent manager in the wake of relegation. Potter has garnered a reputation for his work in Sweden with Oserund and that now apparently makes him a leading candidate for the Swans. A club that in recent years have employed a catalogue of managers without any obvious benefits or success. Since 2016 Swansea City has been under new ownership by an American consortium led by Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan, who bought a controlling interest in the club.
At West Bromwich Albion the vacancy following the departure of Alan Pardew has now been filled by Darren Moore after his successful stint in interim charge. The appointment brings the usual PR statements “We are delighted to confirm Darren as our new head coach and we look forward to his continuing the excellent work we saw when he stepped into the role in an interim capacity in the first week of April,” said the club’s chief executive, Mark Jenkins. In August 2016 the club was sold to a Chinese investment club headed up by Guochuan Laiand led to Tony Pulis being sacked due to poor results in November 2017. He was replaced by Alan Pardew who then left after just one win in eighteen league matches.
Further south Queens Park Rangers have appointed Steve McClaren as manager in place of Ian Holloway, who was sacked after the club finished 16th in the Championship. The incoming McClaren has agreed a two-year contract at Loftus Road, having briefly worked at QPR as a first-team coach with Harry Redknapp in 2013. The former England manager has been away from English football since leaving Derby in March last year, with his last role as a consultant for Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Israel. He arrives in the hope of delivering on the dreams of business magnate Tony Fernandes.
At Stoke the vacancy left by the departure of Mark Hughes was hailed as a long-term choice. however, on Friday that same manger, Paul Lambert, left the relegated club after just four months in charge and Stoke ending a decade in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory at Swansea on Sunday. But Lambert managed only two wins in that time from his 15 games in charge. Faced with the challenge the club's owners last week said they would continue to give the manager time "to prove themselves". Yet, the departure of the ex-Aston Villa and Norwich boss leaves Stoke looking for a third manager in a year. Indeed, it was Hughes succeeded Tony Pulis at Stoke in May 2013 who guided them to three straight ninth-placed finishes before dropping to 13th in 2016-17. But the Welshman lost his job after five defeats in seven league games. But was employed by Southampton Hughes and just guided Southampton to safety.
Stoke City unusually is owned by the Coates family and Richard Coates, who created Bet 365 is locally born and supported the cub all his life, still needs results
In north London the Arsene Wenger saga was finally ended when the Board brought forward the Frenchman’s departure. Behind the scenes the ownership has been part of the reason for the clubs failure to progress and the memories of the more benevolent director David Dein brings tears to the eyes of long time Arsenal fans as the era coincided with much on field success.
Arsenal’s majority shareholder, Stan Kroenke, last year bid almost £525m to buy out Alisher Usmanov, the second-largest shareholder who has tried several times to wrest control of the club. A year ago, the American resisted Usmanov’s latest attempt at a takeover, and within the past couple of weeks this slow-burning struggle for full control took a twist as Kroenke offered £28,000 per share for the Russian’s stake. Kroenke owns 67% of Arsenal; Usmanov has a 30.4% stake. The remaining shares belong to minority shareholders, many of whom have preserved a small holding for decades, even passing down the generations. Having two main investors who do not have a working relationship, despite having been on the scene for the past 10 years and who appear to hold one another in low regard, is not a healthy situation.
Usmanov has never been able to secure a seat on the board or influence any decisions. The consequences of the ongoing impasses is troubling for the 130-year-old club and has damaged its power in the Premier League. This month Arsenal have been forced to pay out big refunds to 7,139 corporate fans after missing out on the Champions League. Supporters in the premium Club Level are getting a refund of £475 after Arsenal missed out on Europe’s top competition for the second season running. Tickets in the more expensive seats have been amended to £5,540 which is an eight per cent refund on the original price and it will hit the club hard. It is believed that the lower take up of Club Level and season tickets was one of the biggest barometers which persuaded Arsenal to make the change with Arsene Wenger going at the end of the season. The club even took out a full-page advert in its own programme for Club Level tickets recently when the idea of the Emirates would be that there would be a waiting list.
The news that Unai Emery is to be manager may restore a bit of faith that the club is trying to modernise the club. Albeit Emer arrives for a supposedly failed era in France with PSG, even though he won the French League. But failed in the Champions league two season running.
On Merseyside Everton ended Sam Allardyce’s six-months as manager and have apparently already made contact with Marco Silva’s representatives after identifying the Portuguese as their choice to replace him. Earlier in the week Allardyce met Farhad Moshiri, Everton’s major shareholder, and was told that he did not feature in the club’s long-term plans. The 63-year-old had another year remaining on the 18-month contract he signed when succeeding Ronald Koeman last November. Given he obtained a deal with no break clause, he is expected to leave with a £6m payoff and so will pocket about £9m for six months’ work.
The former England manager guided the team from 13th to eighth in the Premier League following a turbulent start to the season under Koeman and then the caretaker manager, David Unsworth. But his managerial style never endeared him to Everton supporters. So, it was perhaps of little surprise to some when the usual statement was issued: “On behalf of the chairman, board of directors and Mr Moshiri, I’d like to thank Sam for the job he has done at Everton over the last seven months,” read a statement from the club’s soon-to-be new chief executive, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale.
Sam was brought in at a challenging time last season to provide us with some stability and we are grateful to him for doing that.
“However, we have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer and will be commencing this process immediately. Again, we’d like to place on record our sincere thanks to Sam for his work with us over the last few months and wish him well for the future.”
Allardyce’s backroom team of Sammy Lee, Craig Shakespeare and the goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson have also left as the club undertakes another expensive overhaul of its management structure. The next manager will be the third appointed by Moshiri since he acquired a 49.9% stake in Everton February 2016 with Roberto Martínez, a manager he inherited, Koeman and Allardyce also departing with lucrative payoffs for their poor performances.
In the east end of London West Ham United have appointed Manuel Pellegrini on a three-year deal at the London Stadium. The former Manchester City and Real Madrid manager left his job with Hebei China Fortune over the weekend and succeeds David Moyes, who was let go at the end of the season. The former Manchester City and Real Madrid manager left his job with Hebei China Fortune over the weekend and succeeds David Moyes. The Chilean replaces the former Everton and Manchester United manager Moyes, who was appointed West Ham boss in November 2017 but released at the end of his contract after guiding West Ham to 13th place.
Although West Ham had explored the possibility of hiring Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez, however they quickly concluded it would be hugely difficult for the Spaniard to leave St James' Park. Pellegrini, who was on a huge contract in China, has agreed to take a pay cut but it is anticipated he will become the highest paid manager in West Ham's history.
Pellegrini won the 2013-14 Premier League title and two EFL Cups during his three years at Manchester City, in addition to taking the club to the Champions League semi-finals.
On Saturday night in Kyiv Zinedine Zidane leads out Real Madrid for their second consecutive Champions League final after a season when arch rivals Barcelona stormed away wth the La Liga title. The whispers suggest the Madrid manager maybe out of work no matter the outcome against Liverpool as club president, Florentino Perez, seeks a replacement that will ensure the clubs wins the League title.
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