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Which football managers have been sacked this season?

Carlo Garganese
Steve Cooper, Nottingham Forest
© ProShots

Being a football manager is not the best career choice if you want job security. Indeed, soccer coaches are sacked on a regular basis as clubs make changes in order to try and achieve success.

Across Europe’s top leagues and beyond, head coaches are either sacked and choose to resign frequently throughout the season, with the length of a manager’s stint getting shorter and shorter with each passing year.

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In fact, the next manager to be sacked is a vital part of football transfer news, as the impact of a managerial change can often make a huge difference both on and off the pitch. Furthermore, patience with managers grows ever thinner with each defeat a team suffers.

The 2023-24 season is now approaching the midway stage, with the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 campaigns all experiencing numerous sackings or resignations.

Last season there was an unprecedented number of managerial casualties in England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. Will it be the same come the end of 2023-24?

Below, FootballTransfers runs through every manager in Europe’s top five leagues who have left their posts this campaign.

Sacked/departed Premier League managers in 2023-24

Manager Club Sack date
Julen Lopetegui Wolves August 8
Paul Heckingbottom Sheffield United December 5
Steve Cooper Nottingham Forest December 19

Before the 2023-24 Premier League season had even begun, there was the first managerial casualty of the year as Julen Lopetegui left Wolves by mutual consent. He was replaced by former Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil, completing a chaotic pre-season for the team.

Julen Lopetegui was the first EPL manager to be sacked of 2023-24
© ProShots – Julen Lopetegui was the first EPL manager to be sacked of 2023-24

Paul Heckingbottom became the first Premier League manager of 2023-24 to be sacked during the actual season. He received his marching orders on December 5 with Sheffield United bottom of the league. A 5-0 defeat to Burnley a few days earlier proved decisive. He was replaced by Chris Wilder, who returned for a second spell at the club.

Steve Cooper was the second manager to be fired. Nottingham Forest pulled the trigger on December 19 after a six-game winless run had left them hovering just a spot above the relegation zone. He was replaced by former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

Erik ten Hag is under pressure at Man Utd after they made their worst start to the season in over 30 years. Roy Hodgson is also at risk at Crystal Palace as they sit just above the relegation zone.

In the 2022-23 season, 14 managers were sacked or departed in the Premier League, including Thomas Tuchel, Antonio Conte and Patrick Vieira.

Sacked/departed La Liga managers in 2023-24

Manager Club Sack date
Quique Setien Villarreal September 5
Vicente Moreno Almeria September 29
Jose Luis Mendilibar Sevilla October 8
Pacheta Villarreal November 10
Paco Lopez Granada November 26
Diego Alonso Sevilla December 16

Quique Setien became the first La Liga manager to be sacked in 2023-24. The experienced coach paid the price after his Villarreal team won one and lost three of their first four games of the season. He was replaced by former Valladolid manager Pacheta, who only lasted until November 10 before being sacked and replaced by Marcelino.

The next to go was Vicente Moreno at Almeria on September 29 with Almeria bottom of the table. Gaizka Garritano came in his place.

Then, with Sevilla 14th in the table, Jose Luis Mendilibar lost his job on October 8 following their 2-2 draw against Rayo Vallecano the previous day. He was succeeded by former Uruguay boss Diego Alonso, who failed to turn Sevilla’s fortunes for the better and lasted just over two months before being sacked on December 16. Alonso was replaced by Quique Sanchez Flores.

Paco Lopez was sacked on November 26 as Granada sent him his marching orders with the club 19th in La Liga. He was replaced by Alexander Medina.

Xavi is under pressure at Barcelona as the reigning champions already risk falling out of the La Liga race.

In the 2022-23 season, 16 managers were sacked in La Liga, including Julen Lopetegui, Unai Emery and Gennaro Gattuso.

Sacked/departed Serie A managers in 2023-24

Manager Club Sack date
Paolo Zanetti Empoli September 19
Paulo Sousa Salernitana October 10
Andrea Sottil Udinese October 24
Rudi Garcia Napoli November 14

The first manager to leave their job in Italy was actually the Italy national team manager Roberto Mancini. He resigned from his post on August 13, having led the Azzurri to Euro 2020 glory and then failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. He was subsequently unveiled as the new Saudi Arabia head coach.

Mancini was replaced by Luciano Spalletti, who won the Scudetto with Napoli last season before stepping down from his post. He successfully led the Azzurri to Euro 2024 qualification to secure his long-term future.

Luciano Spalletti is the new Italy coach
© ProShots – Luciano Spalletti is the new Italy coach

The first Serie A manager to be sacked was Empoli’s Paolo Zanetti on September 19. This was after a disastrous start to the season in which Empoli lost four games in a row, including a 7-0 thrashing by Roma. He was replaced by Aurelio Andreazzoli, who returned for his fourth spell at Empoli.

Salernitana coach Paulo Sousa was next in line to be sacked after a 3-0 loss to Monza left his side languishing second from bottom with three points from eight games. The Portuguese was replaced by Italy legend Filippo Inzaghi, brother of Inter boss Simone. ‘Pippo’ is already under pressure as Salernitana have now fallen to bottom of the league.

The third coach to be sacked was Andrea Sottil. Udinese’s trigger-happy owners removed the 49-year-old with the club winless and languishing in the relegation zone. They replaced him with Gabriele Cioffi, who had already coached the team in 2022.

Rudi Garcia was sacked as Napoli coach on November 14 after a disastrous start to the season. The reigning champions were already out of the title race by that point. He was replaced by former Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri, who previously managed the Partenopei from 2009 to 2013, winning the 2012 Coppa Italia.

Rudi Garcia was sacked by champions Napoli on November 14
© ProShots – Rudi Garcia was sacked by champions Napoli on November 14

Stefano Pioli is currently under pressure at Milan as the club’s Scudetto hopes already look over.

In the 2022-23 season, 10 managers were sacked in Serie A, including Marco Giampaolo and Luca Gotti.

Sacked/departed Bundesliga managers in 2023-24

Manager Club Sack date
Enrico Maaßen Augsburg October 10
Bo Svensson Augsburg November 2
Urs Fischer Union Berlin November 15
Steffen Baumgart Koln December 21

Just like in Italy, the first manager to be sacked in Germany was the national team coach. Hansi Flick was axed after an embarrassing 4-1 home defeat by Japan in the September international break.

On October 10, relegation battlers Augsburg pulled the trigger on once-highly-rated Enrico Maaßen after his side had collected just five points from the first seven games. He was replaced by Jess Thorup.

The next to go was Mainz manager Bo Svensson with the club struggling at the bottom of the table with one win from nine games.

November 15 marked the end of an era at Union Berlin as club legend Urs Fischer, who had taken the club into the Bundesliga and then the Champions League, was sacked. It came after a disastrous run of 14 games without a win and 13 straight defeats. He was replaced by Croatian coach Nenad Bjelica.

Just before Christmas, Steffen Baumgart left Koln by mutual consent as the club sat in 17th place.

Edin Terzic is at risk at Borussia Dortmund despite an excellent Champions League campaign.

In the 2022-23 season, 12 managers were sacked in the Bundesliga, including Domenico Tedesco and Bayern Munich’s Julian Nagelsmann.

Sacked/departed Ligue 1 managers in 2023-24

Manager Club Sack date
Laurent Blanc Lyon September 11
Marcelino Marseille September 20
Bruno Genesio Rennes November 19
Pierre Aristouy Nantes November 29
Fabio Grosso Lyon November 30

Laurent Blanc was the first Ligue 1 head coach to be sacked, finally parting ways with the club on 11 September after weeks of speculation suggesting his position was under threat.

Blanc was replaced by former Italy World Cup 2006 hero Fabio Grosso, a former player of Lyon. However, Grosso lasted just 10 weeks in charge before he was also sacked. He won just one game and Lyon were still bottom when he left on November 30.

Marseille coach Marcelino was the next to go on September 20 after a difficult start to the season, which included an exit from the Champions League playoffs. He was replaced by former Milan and Valencia manager Gennaro Gattuso.

Bruno Genesio resigned as manager of Rennes on November 19 as they struggled in 13th place, just one point above the bottom three. He was replaced by former Rennes manager Julien Stephan.

Nantes boss Pierre Aristouy was next to follow on November 29 as he was sacked following a four-match winless run that left his side 11th in the standings. He was replaced by Jocelyn Gourvennec.

In the 2022-23 season, 12 managers were sacked in Ligue 1, including Peter Bosz and Lucien Favre.

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