Here at Bad Management we have picked on a few clubs since the start of the column, with Newcastle being victimised the most frequently. However looking back at the previous editions of this column it struck me that one club has been wildly neglected. A club with a rich tradition of trophies and passionate fans, but more importantly a recent tradition of a ludicrous turn over of football managers. Yes I’m talking about Leeds United who are not only bad at making logos but appointing and firing managers too. Rather than string this column out unnecessarily over months this week’s bad management is focusing on every Leeds manager since 2014.
Before we crack on a bit of context is required. In January 2014 Leeds were taken over by Italian nutter Massimo Cellino who had previously owned Cagliari in Italy. There was immideate talk of manager Brian McDermott getting the sack but Cellino didn’t technically get rid of him until the end of the season, although he was obviously a dead man walking. Now here is where the fun begins.
David Hockaday was the man who Cellino installed to guide Leeds back to the Premier League. Hockaday’s previous managerial experience included an unremarkable 4 years at Forest Green Rovers and well that’s it. The appointment was a complete joke as barely anyone knew who he was and they did not have time to get to know him as big Dave was sacked after six games, losing four and winning two. Hockaday now manages at a university. Leeds were a joke but surely the next guy would get more time?
Of course he didn’t. After a brief spell in charge as caretaker Neil Redfearn (more on him in a minute) was moved aside and Darko Milanic took the wheel. The Slovenian manager was certainly more qualified than his predecessor with a pretty good spell managing in his homeland but would not fare well in the Championship. Milanic also lasted a grand total of 6 games and won an even grander total of 0. So yet again Cellino pulled the trigger.
Redfearn, who was the academy boss at the time, was given the job until the end of the 2014/15 season because by this time it was October and Leeds where already searching for their third manager. Redfearn did an ok job although a 15th placed finish was hardly going to persuade Massimo Cellino to keep him around so when the end of the season came around Redfearn was given the boot. Its important to remember that the above all happened in one season.
Uwe Rosler was the next poor soul to sit in the Elland Round dugout as the 2015/16 season came around. Rosler had done a decent job at Wigan, but this is Leeds so he was sacked after 12 games with a win percentage of 17. In next was the ever popular Steve Evans, a good hand in the lower leagues and a man who had somehow got Rotherham to stay up the prior season. Evans was never popular however and his managerial spell lasted until the end of the season (38 games) which made him the longest-serving manager of the Cellino era yet. 13th place did not keep him his job.
I won’t speak too much about Garry Monk because the young manager actually did a good job finishing 7th and genuinely bringing some hope back to Leeds – this coupled with Cellino selling the club. Of course, this hope wouldn’t last too long after Monk walked out of the club at the end of the season but that’s just what Leeds United do.
Thomas Christiansen was given the reigns this season, but he got sacked a few weeks ago and now Paul Heckingbottom is having a go. Will he last? Probably not but he will be the ninth manager Leeds have had in the last four years, a quite frankly staggering statistic for a club that is crying out for stability.