Manager Tenure in English Football

Arsène Wenger’s 208 months in charge of Arsenal in the English Premier League is seen as the last of a dying breed – a football manager with longevity.

In December of 2013, the average tenure for a Premier League manager fell to a little over 12 months, and with the sacking of Malky Mackay from Cardiff, a rumour started that Arsène Wenger’s total tenure at Arsenal was longer than every other Premier League manager combined!

And for the last few weeks, I’ve wondered – is this true?

So, taking all clubs in the English top four divisions, the Football Conference, and the Scottish Premiership, and analysing the tenure of their current managers by month, the visualisation can be filtered by league and tenure in months.

Some top-level observations:

  • Arsène Wenger wins. The next closest Premier League manager is Alan Pardew, with 38 months compared to Wenger’s 208
  • Of the total 419 months of all Premier League managers combined, Wenger contributes 208 of these. Not quite more than everyone else combined, but not far off
  • The Football Conference offers the greatest longevity, with 5 of the top 10 tenures coming from that league
  • The Championship has the least-tenured most-tenured representative in Chris Powell (36 months at Charlton, 14th in the total list), as every other league has a more-tenured manager.

Data source: Manager ins and outs – February 2014.

One thought on “Manager Tenure in English Football

  1. […] that the role of the football manager is changing, particularly in the lower leagues. Not only are many more getting sacked, but increasingly the technocrats who are being employed are being asked to improve a club’s […]

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