Football Manager Gareth Southgate

UK Football Manager Betting Markets

Every football club has its ideas of success. Lofty, delusional, realistic, or under-ambitious – clubs build towards where they want to be. Certain things are out of their control, and they surprise and hurt teams; some things that are in their control can also surprise and hurt teams. Whether it’s through their decisions or not, all that’s going badly falls at the feet of the manager. They are only in their job to bring success. If there is no success or sign of it in the future then they are gone. The clubs will act decisively. It’s no shock, then, that the betting markets for football managers swing and move so frequently. Any team, at any time, after only a few bad results, could see fit that they change direction to salvage their season, ready to go again in the next.

So, what is the current state of the football manager betting markets?

Premier League Football Managers 

Just over halfway through The Premier League season and six clubs have sacked their football managers. It’s been a season of underperformance for many teams, which is the reason there have been so many casualties. 

David Moyes’s position at West Ham United has been in question since the season began. They’ve struggled to pick up points throughout the opening nineteen games but have accumulated more than other strugglers, so the Hammers’ board likely haven’t pulled the trigger because they’ve been better than the worst teams. Those other teams have made their moves, though. They’ve changed their managers. Could West Ham be left regretting mistakes if Moyes can’t inspire better performances?

Antonio Conte is synonymous with success. Spurs aren’t. It was an interesting pairing when announced early last season after Nuno Espírito Santo lost his job. Spurs have been active in the market to fund Conte’s pursuit of success but unfortunately for him performances and results have been uninspiring. Conte will always argue for more investment. He’s been consistent in this vein across all his jobs – with Juventus, Chelsea, and Inter. However, the underwhelming state of the Spurs project, as it stands, could mean the club opt for a coach who will operate within their structure as opposed to dictating it.

Jesse Marsch and Brendan Rodgers’ jobs at Leeds and Leicester, respectively, are very similar to Moyes’s position: can they stay better than the teams below them that have opted to change? 

A surprise name on this list: Jürgen Klopp. His career at Liverpool has been littered with unending praise and regular success, including a first Premier League title in thirty years. This season has been a quick departure from such heights. Many will point to the same happening in the 20/21 season when their squad was also depleted by injury. Many will point to a lack of investment in key areas – despite spending big on two attackers – drastically impeding how intense and cohesive they can play. However, he’s on this list. Klopp’s position as ‘safe’ is reassured by Klopp himself. It’s hard to imagine Liverpool sacking a coach that has brought them this level of success, especially when the squad does have weaknesses. That being said, maybe Liverpool won’t sack him, but could Klopp think it’s time to go?

Championship Football Managers

While the pressure of success is immense in the Premier League, it’s not much different in the Championship. Why? Because all twenty-four teams know they are a good season of performances – not even a season! Just enough to see them creep into the Playoffs – away from playing in the Premier League and receiving that financial injection.

This success-intensity was felt through the opening eleven games of the season when eight managers lost their jobs. A further eight have lost their jobs in the time since – with Cardiff and Wigan sacking two managers each. It’s a ruthless level. Fourteen clubs have changed their manager this season.

The majority of these changes have been at the bottom of the league. 

Shaun Maloney’s three-and-a-half-year deal at Wigan seems to indicate that, whether or not they’re relegated – a likely outcome as they’re still rooted to the bottom of the league – he will be in charge next season. Is he, then, the most secure manager in the league?

Mark Hudson’s time as Cardiff coach was short – lasting just under four months. Cardiff’s trigger-happy style will surely stop after their next hire.

Mick McCarthy has just replaced the outgoing Michael Appleton at Blackpool. He’ll likely have a grace period too. Though how much is up to McCarthy.

Right now, Birmingham are the only team in the bottom-five to have not sacked their manager. It’s no surprise, then, to see John Eustace join the likes of Mark Fotheringham and Matt Taylor as next in line to be relieved of their duties. 

The majority of changes at the top end of the league will play out in the off-season. Norwich’s move to sack Dean Smith comes as no shock when they’re position in the top-six is proving more difficult to hold onto than they would expect. If Watford fail to clinch promotion, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine Slaven Bilić’s job will be under threat. 

League One Football Managers

This season in League One has proven to be much more stable than the Championship. Seven clubs have sacked their coaches, while Exeter lost Matt Taylor to the Championship’s Rotherham. Derby, Portsmouth and Peterborough did so because they’re pursuit of promotion was faltering. Burton, Forest Green, MK Dons, and Charlton made changes to avoid relegation.

In a similar story to the Championship, those who expect promotion but fail will review and rethink their direction in the off-season, including the possition of their football managers. That being said, Derby, one of the more recently relegated clubs, will be looking to stabilise under new boss Paul Warne, who signed a four-year deal in September, heading up the revival project after the club was saved from bankruptcy. 

John Mousinho’s position at Portsmouth may be one to watch. Despite joining the club in January, Portsmouth will expect to be at least performing well and pushing for a playoff position for the remainder of the season. If Mousinho can’t get Pompey firing, he may well be fired before next season begins.

 

League Two Football Managers

At the bottom of the professional section of the English football pyramid, League Two will be preparing themselves for if Wrexham get promoted from the National League and bring with them a growing global profile. Right now, though, seven clubs have sacked their football managers. Only one of them had been in their job longer than a year: Robbie Stockdale of Rochdale, who was dismissed after four defeats to start the season. Crawley have been the most active in managerial changes this season, sacking Kevin Batsy in October after 100 days in charge and his replacement Matthew Etherington after 32 days in charge. 

Scott Lindsey’s job at Crawley, then, will be one to watch. It was a surprising appointment because he left division rivals and 8th-placed Swindon to join the club. Crawley positioned outside of the relegation as of now, and Lindsey won his opening match on the 28th of January. His success with Swindon may give him a bit of time if the team’s performances don’t earn it. Nonetheless, it doesn’t appear the brass at Crawley will think twice.