Premier League’s 10 Shortest Managerial Reigns

Fulham’s René Meulensteen lasted just 75 days before being sacked on Saturday evening. The former Manchester United coach lasted just 16 days in charge of Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013.

Here are the top 10 shortest reigns for managers in the Premier League:

Paul Sturrock (Southampton) – 13 games

After Gordon Strachan’s resignation in late February, Southampton took a chance on Paul Sturrock who had been well-rated for his work with Plymouth Argyle.

With no previous top-flight experience for Sturrock, he got off to a flying start beating Liverpool 2-0 on his debut and going on to win four of his first six matches in charge. His success was short-lived as he would go on to win just one of his next seven games in charge, that being his final match before being sacked after just two games of the 2004-05 season.

Terry Connor (Wolverhampton Wanderers) – 13 games

Heading down to the Championship during the 2011-12 season, Wolves pulled the plug on Mick McCarthy with 13 games remaining in February. His replacement was assistant manager Terry Connor taking up his first managerial position in professional football.

Wolves had been poor that season but only got worse under Connor as they picked up 0 wins and 4 draws in their final 13 games under the rookie manager and were ultimately relegated from the Premier League. Connor was sacked that summer and Wolves’ misery was followed up the following season as they were relegated to the third tier of English football.

René Meulensteen (Fulham) – 13 games

Replacing Martin Jol at the start of December, René Meulensteen rebounded from a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham to beat Aston Villa in his second game in charge. 8 defeats in 11 Premier League matches followed and elimination from the FA Cup to a club two leagues below.

After the close of the winter transfer window there were signs of improvement, first with a 2-2 draw at Manchester United before only being beaten late at home to Liverpool. However, 1 point from two good performances perhaps wasn’t good enough.

Paolo Di Canio (Sunderland) – 12 games

After taking charge at the end of last season and picking up important victories over Newcastle and Everton to help Sunderland avoid relegation, charismatic and outspoken Italian manager Paolo Di Canio was shown the boot after just 5 games at the start of the 2013-14 season, picking up just 1 point.

Sunderland players admitted to a lack of confidence under Di Canio following his harsh regime. Current manager Gus Poyet has lifted the club off the bottom of the table, out of the relegation zone and into the final of the League Cup and last eight of the FA Cup.

Iain Dowie (Charlton Athletic) – 12 games

After guiding Crystal Palace to the Premier League in 2004, Charlton Athletic gave former Northern Ireland striker Iain Dowie a chance in the hot seat at the Valley following the departure of Alan Curbishley.

The Addicks suffered immediately with Dowie in charge for the first 12 Premier League games of the 2006-07 season, taking the club to the relegation zone before he was sacked in November following a 3-2 loss to Wigan Athletic. Dowie won just two of his games in charge – against Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City.

Chris Hutchings (Bradford City) – 12 games

After a dramatic end of season survival with victory over Liverpool, Paul Jewell left Premier League side Bradford City to join relegated Sheffield Wednesday. His number two at Valley Parade was given his chance in charge of the Bantams.

Chris Hutchings won just 1 of his 12 Premier League matches in charge of Bradford – against Chelsea in which was his second game. After that, just 4 points were picked up before an inevitable sacking in November. Bradford were relegated that season whilst Jewell failed to get Sheffield Wednesday back into the Premier League.

Chris Hutchings (Wigan Athletic) – 12 games

Appearing twice on our list, and similar to his first managerial spell, Chris Hutchings was given a managerial chance at Wigan Athletic after Paul Jewell resigned following a final day of the season victory to keep the Latics in the Premier League.

Chris Hutchings took charge of the 2007-08 season, winning two of his first three Premier League games in charge. He failed to win a single game after that before being dismissed from his job following a home 2-0 loss to Chelsea.

Jacques Santini (Tottenham Hotspur) – 11 games

Eliminated from Euro 2004 at the quarter-final stage with holders France, Tottenham Hotspur took a gamble on Jacques Santini bringing the French manager to the English Premier League for the first time.

Spurs were mid-table during the 2004-05 season in early November when Santini resigned due to personal problems – three wins, four draws and four defeats wasn’t disastrous for the North London side who had finished 14th the season before.

Sammy Lee (Bolton Wanderers) – 11 games

Assistant to Sam Allardyce at the Reebok Stadium for many a year, Sammy Lee was given the chance in the hot seat at the end of the 2006-07 season and the start of the following season after ‘Big Sam’ left for Newcastle United.

Allardyce’s departure was the catalyst to Bolton’s eventual relegation. Lee failed to prove himself as a manger in the Premier League, lasting just 11 games in charge of the Trotters which resulted in one win, three wins and seven defeats.

Les Reed (Charlton Athletic) – 7 games

Iain Dowie’s replacement at the Valley in what was a disastrous and ultimately a relegation season of 2006-07, Les Reed lasted less than six weeks in charge of Charlton Athletic.

Four points from seven games and elimination from the League Cup by League Two side Wycombe Wanderers, Les Reed lost his job on Christmas Eve following a 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough.

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