The Rundown

Here today, gone tomorrow: The shortest managerial stints

Alex McLeish has left Nottingham Forest (PA Photos)Alex McLeish has left Nottingham Forest (PA Photos)

Alex McLeish has walked away from his job as manager of Nottingham Forest after just 40 days at the helm.

The official line from club and manager is that the split was agreed by mutual consent, making it sound as if it was an amicable and gentlemanly agreement on both sides.

If that is the case the dealings which preceded the amicable split appear to have been anything but friendly, however: McLeish reportedly furious at the collapse of George Boyd's transfer on the final day of the window - with the move being cancelled after Boyd was reported to have failed a seemingly spurious eye test. (Though as angry as McLeish was, Peterborough owner Barry Fry was more so.)

McLeish's statement cited "a difference in the understanding of the development strategy of the football club" with the owners - presumably, with both parties under the impression that they should be deciding transfer strategy.

The former Birmingham manager is not the first man to go through the managerial revolving door at full speed - here's our pick of some of the other football bosses who barely had a chance to find out where the toilets are.


Brian Clough sacked by Leeds United after 44 days

This legendary short stint has become so famous in English football that it has even been the subject of a book and film, The Damned United. Clough, universally acclaimed as one of the best managers in the country, took over at Leeds when Don Revie was given the England job.

He had been a fierce critic of Leeds' physical approach while at Derby, however, and his attempts to reform both the club and its roster of hard-man players was such a disaster that club captain Billy Bremner forced the board to get rid of the new boss. Clough walked out happy after a huge pay-off and went on to win two European Cups with Nottingham Forest.


Guy Roux quits Lens after three and a half matches

Roux set an unbelievable record by managing French side Auxerre for an astonishing 44 years from 1961 to 2005, and was persuaded to come out of retirement to take over at Lens in June 2007. But his season got off to a terrible start, and he simply walked away at half-time of what was just his fourth match in charge.


Steve Coppell quits Bristol City after two games

The former Manchester United and England legend enjoyed great spells as a manager at Crystal Palace and Reading, but that was not to be replicated at Bristol City.

Coppell was persuaded to take the job in April 2010 and linked up with the team during the off-season, but quit after just two matches in charge.

It wasn't the first time he had walked away from a job: a previous stint at Manchester City had lasted just six games and 33 days.


Kevin Cullis quits/sacked by Swansea City after seven days

Eyebrows were raised when the Swans appointed Cullis, a man who had never played professional football, and whose only management experience was as a youth team coach for a non-league club called Cradley Town. The side lost his first match in charge 1-0, and things were going so badly half-way through the second game that at half-time the players ignored his team-talk and worked out their own game plan. They still ended up losing 4-0, Cullis was fired (though the club claim he resigned) and was later sentenced to nine months in jail for fraud.


Steve Claridge sacked by Millwall without playing a competitive match

The veteran journeyman striker took over the top job at the Lions when Dennis Wise quit in May 2005, but was turfed out just 36 days later after board-level changes at the club.

New chairman Theo Paphitis - he of Dragons' Den fame - explained that "we had a strong chance of being relegated under Steve".

No doubt Claridge allowed himself a wry smile at Millwall's expense the following May when the South London club were relelgated in any case.


Bill Lambton quits Scunthorpe United after three days

The sergeant major turned goalkeeper turned football manager's first stint in football management was at Leeds, who gave him the job in 1958 despite a total lack of experience. Despite signing Leeds legends Don Revie and Billy Bremner the stint was a disaster, however, and he was asked to leave after just four months.

Still, that ended up looking like a lifetime commitment compared to his spell at Scunthorpe soon after he left Leeds: he ran the club for just three days before walking away.


2009 Dave Bassett - 0Dave Bassett quits Crystal Palace after 72 hours

The man who turned Wimbledon into the famous 'Crazy Gang' in the 1980s, taking them from the fourth division to the first within the space of four seasons - but he very nearly left with the job half done. He left Wimbledon to join Crystal Palace in June 1984, but changed his mind three days later and went back to his old job.

"We have unfinished business, and I didn't really want to leave here," he explained at the time. Two years later he was celebrating two more promotions as Wimbledon made it into the top flight.


Georgi Ivanov quits Lokomotiv Plovdiv after 24 hours

Former Bulgaria striker Georgi Ivanov quit as coach of Lokomotiv Plovdiv just a day after agreeing a contract.

Ivanov, 36, decided to quit after his very first training session saying he despaired of the "organisational chaos". The club's owner Veselin Mareshki called him to an emergency meeting, but failed to persuade him to return.


Leroy Rosenior sacked by Torquay after 10 minutes

Rosenior's first spell at Torquay United lasted four years and saw him both win promotion and suffer relegation before leaving by mutual consent. His second spell, while shorter, was no less dramatic: he was appointed as manager, but was sacked just 10 minutes after the press conference at which he was unveiled.

Not that it was his own fault: at the same time that he was appointed the club was bought out, with the new chief executive deciding he wanted former Gulls player and Exeter City assistant manager Paul Buckle to take the reins. Still, he was no stranger to short spells in charge. His previous job at Brentford had lasted just five months before he was fired after a 16-match winless streak.


Ricardo Gomes gets fired by Saudi Arabia before he even starts

Saudi Arabia bosses axed the Brazilian coach in June 2011 before he had even started work.

The 46-year-old had agreed a three-year, £5.5 million contract to manage the national team, but the Saudis became so annoyed by Ricardo's request to delay his start date (in order to honour a commitment to club side Vasco da Gama) that they told him not to bother. They tore up his deal and gave the job to another Brazilian, Morris Lorinzo, who had been the Saudi Arabia U20 coach.