Which Premier League season contained the most manager changes?
Leeds United’s recent decision to bring an end to Marcelo Bielsa’s memorable tenure at Elland Road rocketed the number of in-season Premier League managerial casualties to nine.
Considering that there are still a few months left until the curtains are drawn on the current campaign, 2021/22 could potentially hit double-figures for dugout departures; something that's only previously happened twice in the Premier League era.
Watford, shock, have so far been responsible for two terminations: Xisco Munoz and his replacement Claudio Ranieri. Newcastle parted ways with Steve Bruce, Tottenham’s Nuno Santo experiment lasted just 10 league games, Norwich sacked Daniel Farke and appointed Dean Smith who himself had been replaced at Aston Villa by Steven Gerrard.
Elsewhere, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was eventually let go by Man Utd in late November who then surprisingly replaced the Norwegian with interim manager Ralf Rangnick, while Everton’s controversial appointment of Rafa Benitez finally boiled over in the New Year.
At the time of writing, the bookies are offering odds of 9/4 (William Hill) for no more departures through to the end of the season. In truth, no one appears to be under severe pressure right now, although Frank Lampard - who has overseen just five league games (W1 L4) - has seen his odds slashed to 5/1 following a 5-0 hammering at Spurs.
So, how does this season's count of nine managerial departures - so far - compare to previous Premier League campaigns, and could we soon be on for a record?
We take a look at the numbers below to see which season contained the highest and lowest number of manager changes…
Note: We have only included in-season departures of permanent managers (not caretakers): From the first kick of the season to the last round of games. Any post-season exits in the summer are void. Also, a departure is by any means eg. sacking, mutual consent, resignation.
Highest Number Of Manager Changes
On two occasions we've seen 10 in-season managerial changes take place within a season, during the trigger-happy 2013/14 and 2017/18 campaigns.
2013/14 contained the high-profile April-exit of David Moyes who was catapulted from his Man Utd hot-seat just 10 months after he succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson. Other notable exits include Andre Villas-Boas from Tottenham where he was replaced by Tim Sherwood, and Sunderland sacking Paolo Di Canio.
2017/18 also hit double-digits. The first club to wield the dreaded axe, Crystal Palace, did so in record-smashing fashion as Frank de Boer's contract was torn to shreds after just four Premier League games. Yes, four!
Elsewhere, the 1994/95, 2004/05 and 2008/09 seasons also witnessed a large volume of departures - nine each - while 2007/08 and 2015/16 both contained eight apiece.
So, the 2021/22 season and it's nine casualties to date means that it is currently ranked joint-second for most in-season departures. One more exit will therefore elevate this term to joint-top alongside the 2013/14 and 2017/18 seasons (10 departures). Two more exits will therefore break the record.
Lowest Number Of Manager Changes
Here's a great quiz question for you: who was the first ever Premier League manager to lose their job?
Admittedly, it's a tough one, so a huge congratulations if you knew that the answer was Ian Porterfield, who was sacked by Chelsea in February of the inaugural 1992/93 season.
In fact, Porterfield was the only manager to leave during the whole season, something which has since only happened on one occasion, in 1995/96 when Bolton axed Roy McFarland two days into 1996.
Each of the other 28 seasons have produced at least three in-season changes, meaning we are still waiting for the first blank season. Something, that is unlikely to ever happen, but you never know...
Number of in-season managerial departures, by season
1992/93 - One
1993/94 - Seven
1994/95 - Nine
1995/96 - One
1996/97 - Six
1997/98 - Five
1998/99 - Seven
1999/00 - Four
2000/01 - Five
2001/02 - Seven
2002/03 - Five
2003/04 - Three
2004/05 - Nine
2005/06 - Three
2006/07 - Six
2007/08 - Eight
2008/09 - Nine
2009/10 - Five
2010/11 - Five
2011/12 - Four
2012/13 - Six
2013/14 - Ten
2014/15 - Six
2015/16 - Eight
2016/17 - Six
2017/18 - Ten
2018/19 - Six
2019/20 - Seven
2020/21 - Four
2021/22 - Nine*
*correct as of 8th March 2022