Sir Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola, Arsene Wenger, Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho – the list of famous football coaches is never-ending. Some of them have become synonymous with some particular clubs because of serving them for a long time. For example, a red shirt will come to your mind when you hear the name of Sir Alex Ferguson while the name of Wenger excites all the gunners across the world.
However, the club managements are not always too considerate to the coaches. Sometimes, they take no time to sack a coach if the team is not performing well. And quite more than often, one can see a coach getting sacked after only ten matches or so. But, would you at all believe if I tell you that there was a coach, once, who was sacked ten minutes after he was appointed?
Well, you may not believe but it is true and the former West Ham and Fulham star Leroy Rosenior is the unfortunate one who unwillingly made this record seven years ago.
Rosenior started his coaching career in Gloucester City in 1996 and then managed Merthyr Tydfil, Torquay United and Brentford before taking the charge of Sierra Leone in May 2007. But, before the Sierra Leone chapter began, Rosenior returned to Torquay United as head coach on 17 May 2007, replacing Keith Curle. Torquay was struggling at that moment and the authority decided to bring in the old chap to get them out of the off form.
Unfortunately, at the same time Torquay were bought by a local consortium who installed Colin Lee as Chief Executive and Lee then appointed former Gulls player and Exeter City assistant manager Paul Buckle as the manager. And thus, Rosenior made the unwanted record of the shortest managerial reign in the history of football.
On that day, sports journalists were summoned to a press conference which finished at 3.30pm and at 3.40pm, Leroy came to know about the sacking from the chairman of the club. He then told the press, “For it to happen ten minutes after I finished the press conference was a bit of a shock. But we had a good laugh about it afterwards.” Jokingly he added, “Obviously they thought I had done a fantastic job after ten minutes and let me go.”
Incidentally, the previous record of the shortest managerial reign can be accredited to Dave Bassett, who was in charge of the lower division English club Wimbledon since Januray 1981. After spending more than three years with the club, in June 1984, Bassett accepted an offer to become manager of Second Division club Crystal Palace, but remarkably changed his mind within 72 hours. He refused to sign the contract at Selhurst Park, and returned to Wimbledon, stating that “I gave it some serious thought, but in the end it just did not feel right. We have unfinished business, and I didn’t really want to leave here.”