Tony Pulis sacked: Which managers suffered the fastest sackings in English football history?

  • Kat Lucas

Brian Clough's 44 days at Leeds United has become folklore in English football history. 

Taking over from the unsurpassable Don Revie - of whom he had been constantly critical during his reign - Clough was unable to work his magic at Elland Road. 

Instead, he alienated the players, upset the board, and won just one of his six matches in charge. 

If you think the game has moved on since 1974, it hasn't really. Clough's reign might be infamous - the Derby and Nottingham Forest legend remains the second worst permanent Leeds boss of all time - but he's since been matched in the stakes of 'ridiculously short managerial stints'. 

GIVEMESPORT are reminiscing, of course, following the news that Tony Pulis has been axed by Sheffield Wednesday just 45 days after taking the job. 

A 1-1 draw with Blackburn spelled the end, with the Owls making the decision due to Pulis recording just one win in 10 games. 

The 62-year-old arrived at Hillsborough last month, but now joins an ignominious list of coaches who not only faced the inevitable chop, but who did so having barely unpacked their bags in the first place. 

Let's take a trip through the worst cases in English football history. Honourable mentions go to those who resigned or left by mutual consent, like Dave Bassett who didn't even get the chance to sign a contract at Crystal Palace before he'd gone back to Wimbledon four days later. Paul Scholes, similarly, lasted a grand total of 31 days at boyhood club Oldham. 

20. Howard Wilkinson - 151 days (Sunderland) 

Wilkinson, who had won the title with Leeds in 1992, described his later time at Sunderland as the "worst mistake" of his career. He won just two league games. 

19. Remi Garde - 147 days (Aston Villa)

Garde was just one casualty of Villa's doomed 2015/16 season. The Frenchman had impressed at Lyon but left the Villains bottom of the Premier League. 


18. Chris Hutchings - 141 days (Bradford City)

Hutchings had hoped the signing of Stan Collymore would revive the Bantams, but he was given the boot in 2000 with Bradford in the relegation zone. 

17. Marco Silva - 140 days (Hull City)

Silva is a bit of an exception to the rule, here. The Portuguese coach actually earned plenty of plaudits for his work at Hull, even though he was unable to keep them up. His stock has fallen considerably since. 

16. Alan Pardew - 124 days (West Brom) 

Pardew, incidentally, replaced our man of the moment Pulis in 2018 but lost 12 and drew five of his 18 games in charge. The Baggies decided to get rid after he lost his eighth game in a row. 


15. Neil Warnock - 122 days (Crystal Palace)

Warnock's second stint at Selhurst Park came following the departure of - guess who - Tony Pulis. He was the first manager to be sacked in the 2014/15 campaign, losing his job just two days after Christmas. 

14. Pepe Mel - 120 days (West Brom)

It wasn't all bad - the Spaniard pulled off shock draws with Liverpool and Chelsea - but by his own admission the language barrier proved a problem. 

13. Steve Wigley - 107 days (Southampton)

Wigley only managed 14 games at Southampton and it was no surprise to see him leave - but it was a massive shock to see him replaced by the former manager of the Saints' bitter rivals, Portsmouth's Harry Redknapp. 

=11. Tony Adams - 106 days (Portsmouth)

And speaking of 'Arry, he left Portsmouth in the lurch in 2008 when he took over from Juande Ramos at Spurs. Pompey needed an immediate replacement and turned to Tony Adams. According to the former England defender, he was sacked while at his son's fifth birthday party. 


=11. Claudio Ranieri - 106 days (Fulham) 

Perhaps expecting a Leicester-like miracle of their own, Fulham turned to the Tinkerman. His tinkering didn't work on this occasion, and he left them 10 points adrift on their way back down to the Championship. 

10. Colin Todd - 98 days (Derby County)

Todd, who had been the assistant at Pride Park under Walter Smith, struggled to make the step up and was sacked with the Rams second bottom of the top flight. 

9. Terry Connor - 91 days (Wolves) 

Connor didn't win a game after taking Mick McCarthy's place and Wolves finished rock bottom. 

8. Quique Sanchez Flores - 85 days (Watford)

It's about time Watford featured. It went Flores, Gracia, then Flores again but he was left to regret rejoining the Hornets as they sacked him for winning just one in 10 games. 


7. Bob Bradley - 84 days (Swansea City) 

Bradley had a quick ride on the Swansea merry-go-round during a season in which the Welsh outfit had no fewer than three different managers. A recipe for disaster, but Paul Clement did keep them up. 

6. Frank de Boer - 77 days (Crystal Palace)

De Boer managed to lose 4-0 to newly promoted Huddersfield on the first day of the season and things didn't get much better from there - he suffered four losses in four games and his side didn't score a single goal. 

5. Rene Meulensteen - 75 days (Fulham)

Meulensteen was widely regarded due to his work behind the scenes at Manchester United. He replaced Martin Jol for a short time at Fulham before - to add insult to injury - he himself was usurped by Felix Magath - a man who tried to treat injuries with cheese. 

4. Tony Pulis - 45 days (Sheffield Wednesday)

Wednesday have made themselves into a laughing stock, sadly. Pulis was their fourth manager in two years. 


3. Brian Clough - 44 days (Leeds United)

Cloughie's greatest triumphs were yet to come with Nottingham Forest, but his ill-fated aforementioned spell with Leeds epitomised what can go wrong when a coach simply isn't the right fit. 

2. Les Reed - 40 days (Charlton Athletic) 

Reed isn't really a football manager at all and has spent most of his career at board level. He did have a quick stint sandwiched in between Iain Dowie and Alan Pardew at Charlton, in which he was voted the Premier League's worst manager of all time. A low point came in the League Cup defeat to fourth-tier Wycombe Wanderers. 

1. Leroy Rosenoir - 10 minutes (Torquay) 

Yes, really. Rosenoir took charge at Torquay following their relegation from League Two. The trouble was, they were sold to a consortium just minutes later and their first decision was to relieve him of his duties. 

At least you're in good company, Mr Pulis. 

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