Promotion: The death-trap for modern managers

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Promotion is always the target for lower league sides, giving teams the chance to challenge themselves in a higher division.

But for managers like Ian Holloway, promotion success sets off a ticking time-bomb before they are forced to walk out of the door and back into unemployment.

Holloway, a former Blackpool and Crystal Palace boss and the latest ejection from the Premier League, has achieved this feat twice, and twice also been sacked by his former clubs, most recently after securing play-off promotion back in May with Palace at Wembley.

Since then he has left Palace rock bottom of the Premier League, after only two months into the campaign. Promotion ultimately cost him his job.

Why? Well ask Gianfranco Zola, manager of Watford, with arguably greater ambitions at the start of the 2012-2013 ambitions than his play-off final counterpart.

After failing to gain promotion automatically and then via the play-offs, Zola has remained at Vicarage Road regardless, while Holloway is jobless. Who's to say should Watford have been promoted themselves, that Zola wouldn't have been ousted? Maybe unemployed, or even back where he started, in the Championship with another team, like Nigel Adkins and Brian McDermott, who both suffered the same fate as Holloway.

Holloway, Adkins and McDermott join an unfortunate crop of gaffers including Neil Warnock and Chris Hughton. These managers all triumphed, before the axe fell down on them when the realisation set in that their respective squads may not be good enough for top-flight football.

Let's not forget, however, that some of these managers have been better off. Hughton is currently in charge of Norwich in the top flight, and even Robert di Matteo, who won the Champions League with Chelsea subsequent to his sacking at West Brom after guiding them to the Premier League in 2010. Saying this, the Italian, who is once again out of employment, must have felt hard done by to have originally lost his job at the Hawthorns, like any other promoted manager in the past.

This sends out the message to any future manager who finds themselves in a similar situation. Promotion may seem like a life dream realised, but in modern day football, with expectations and billionaire foreign owners closing in on you from all directions, it's probably one of the hardest positions to be in.

Do you agree that promotion sends managers inevitably walking out the door?

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