What is the record number of coaches fired in the Premier League in one season?
Sheffield United’s Paul Heckingbottom has become the first Premier League manager to lose his job after a dismal start to the season.
The inevitable has finally happened, although it’s taken considerably longer than we probably all thought. While few would have expected the first Premier League manager sacking of the season to come as late as December, that Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom is first to go comes as little surprise.
Sheffield United make worst ever Premier League start
To say The Blades have endured a wretched start to the 2023-24 campaign would be something of an understatement. They have won only one and lost 11 of their first 14 league games, with Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing at the hands of fellow promoted side Burnley the final straw for Heckingbottom, who had already seen his team lose by the same scoreline at Arsenal and, most memorably, 8-0 at home to Newcastle United.
Derby County hold the record for the lowest points total in a Premier League season, collecting just 11 in 38 fixtures in 2007-08. Yet even the Rams had more points (six) then after 14 games than Sheffield United do now (five). Nobody has ever started worse.
2022-23 holds record for most manager sackings
This season pales in comparison to last, when Bournemouth fired Scott Parker on the penultimate day of August, with just four matches played. Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel, who had won the Champions League with the Blues a little over a year earlier, followed a week after Parker, with Wolves’ Bruno Lage, Steven Gerrard of Aston Villa and Southampton’s Ralf Hasenhuttl also losing their jobs in the first 14 matchdays.
After a brief period of respite either side of Christmas (the Premier League’s festive spirit was alive and well), the sackings continued to flow after the turn of the year, with nine further dismissals taking the total to 14, a new single-season record. And it isn’t even especially close, with a previous high of 10 (in 2013-14, 2017-18 and 2021-22).
Chelsea suffer after Tuchel, Emery galvanises Aston Villa
How did sacking their managers work out for the clubs in question? As reported by The Athletic, six of the 14 teams finished the season further up the table than they were when they made the change, seven dropped down the standings, while one remained in the same position (bottom-of-the-table Southampton).
The two other relegated teams, Leeds United and Leicester, also made unsuccessful moves in the dugout, while Chelsea dropped six places to 12th after replacing Tuchel with Graham Potter and then Frank Lampard, who had himself lost his job at Everton earlier in the season.
By far the biggest beneficiaries were Aston Villa, who soared from 17th to seventh after Unai Emery took over from Gerrard in October.