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The 3 Shortest Managerial Reigns on record

September 08, 2015

- Grant Whittington

When it comes to analysing football statistics, there is often considerable disparity between fact and perception. Take the shortest managerial tenures in history, for example, which often throw up famous names such as Steve Coppell (Manchester City) and Brian Clough, who famously took charge of Leeds United for a tempestuous 44 day period in 1974 which we looked back on just a few short months ago. While these reigns were particularly brief and have been immortalised in legend, they are by no means the shortest on record.

So what exactly are the shortest managerial reigns in the history of football?

Martin Ling (Cambridge United, 9 days in 2009)

Don’t you just hate it when you can’t get on with your boss? This was the issue facing Martin Ling in 2009, after he had been handed the reigns of Conference National side Cambridge United. He had left the club just nine days later, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’ with the club’s notoriously difficult chairman George Rolls (although quite how a relationship deteriorates to such a point in little over a week remains unclear). What is interesting is the fact that Ling’s predecessor in the role quit for exactly the same reason, which should have served as a warning for the former Swindon Town player.

Dave Bassett (Crystal Palace, 4 days in 1984)

Then the manager of Wimbledon, Dave Bassett was all but confirmed as the boss of Crystal Palace in the summer of 1984. Despite putting in four days of work with his new club, however, Bassett never officially signed a contract and quickly decided that the new role was not for him before returning to Wimbledon. Certainly any club would have represented a culture shock after managing the self-proclaimed ‘Crazy Gang’, and it seems that Bassett struggled to make the transition. Either way, he returned to Dons and within four years the club had established itself as a top flight force and even won the FA Cup with an historic victory of all-conquering Liverpool.

Leroy Rosenior (Torquay, 10 minutes in 2007)

If four days seems like a short reign, how does 10 minutes sound? Don’t be ridiculous, we hear you say, but this was the precise length of Leroy Rosenior’s tenure at Torquay United in 2007. Rosenior had the misfortune to be appointed manager of the south coast club just as the club were being taken over by a local consortium. The papers were signed just moments after Rosenior agreed terms, and as the new owners wanted their own appointment at the helm the former Fulham and West Ham United player was gone in just 600 seconds.

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