The last four seasons Premier League-clubs have paid £130 million in compensation to sacked managers

13 March 2019

Claudio Ranieri Fulham compensations sacked managers
Photo: Getty Images Former Fulham-manager, Claudio Ranieri, greets Roy Hodgson from Crystal Palace. Ranieri has been paid huge compensation packages throughout his career.

The newly sacked Ranieri has picked up at least £18 million throughout his career through compensation alone.

Chelsea are, by far, the Premier League club to have spent the most money on compensating managers when contracts were terminated.

Everton has a record of paying sacked managers a lot of money too. The sacking of Ronald Koeman, in particular, ended up being a costly affair for the Toffees.

Just two weeks ago, the Fulham-board once again made a tough - and expensive - decision. With immediate effect they sacked manager Claudio Ranieri. And although that specific change in personnel was not amongst the most expensive ones in the Premier League, the total value of compensation packages to sacked managers might make owners re-think the terms and conditions in managers' contracts in the future.

The sacking of Jose Mourinho and his staff at the end of last year by Manchester United cost the club £19.6 million, with Premier League compensation packages now rocketing past £130 million in the last four seasons.

That is the figure found by an offthepitch.com investigation into the fees English clubs are prepared to pay in order to turn their seasons around.

Totals paid out to sacked managers at the top level of English football in the 2018/19 season are just short of £30 million, with two months of the campaign still to be played.

Last season, the figure was just shy of a staggering £50 million and in 2015/16 it came in at a sizeable £34.65 million.

So far in this campaign, six managers have left their posts at the top level of the English game; Claude Puel, Mark Hughes, Slavisa Jokanovic, Claudio Ranieri and David Wagner. A further 28 managers in the Championship, League One and League Two have also gone in the seasonal sack race.

Roman is leading the race

But the statistics suggest things will soon start to heat up and get worse. In season 2017/18, 67 managers left their posts, with 14 from the Premier League moving on, and in 2015/16, 70 failed to finish what they started, and 12 of those were from the Premier League.

Since 2004, the 67-year-old Italian has picked up more than £18 million in managerial pay outs

Under Roman Abramovich, Chelsea have paid out £89.3 million to nine sacked managers in the last 15 years. Antonio Conte was paid £9 million last summer but that made him only the sixth highest paid-off manager by the Chelsea owner.

Jose Mourinho, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo all received higher payments on termination of their contract.

 

There is, however, a suggestion that the tide is finally starting to turn. The deal signed by Maurizio Sarri last summer, when he succeeded Conte at Stamford Bridge, means he will receive ‘just’ a full year of his £5 million-a-year contract.

Casa St. James

West London rivals Fulham, who have sacked two managers this season in Jokanovic and Ranieiri, have also wised up to the error of a revolving-door managerial policy in the Premier League under Shahid Khan. Ranieri will only receive the rest of this season’s contract, believed to be a £2 million-a-year deal, because a clause was inserted stating he would receive less if the club were in the bottom three when he went - which they were.

Ranieri, the surprise Premier League-winning manager with Leicester in 2016, has benefited spectacularly well from the culture of huge pay-offs. Since 2004, the 67-year-old Italian has picked up more than £18 million in managerial pay outs.

Everton’s board was stunned to find Koeman became the Dutch national manager on just £600,000-a-year and were forced into huge payments

He was awarded £4 million after being sacked at Valencia in 2005, £3 million after being relieved of his position at Leicester in 2017, £6 million to make way for Mourinho at Chelsea in 2004 and another £3 million when he was dismissed at Monaco in 2014.

Sam Allardyce has similarly benefited from the Premier League sack race. Allardyce and his staff were awarded a £5.2 million payout when Mike Ashley sacked him during his spell in charge at Newcastle United in 2008. He purchased a villa in Spain with the money and called it Casa St James’.

Had to go to a tribunal

There was a £2.5 million payout when he was sacked at Blackburn Rovers in 2010 and a further £1 million came when he left England in controversial circumstances in 2016. At the end of the 2018 season, he was awarded another payment, this time of £6 million, after leaving Everton.

Everton in particular have repeatedly shown a chaotic and expensive approach to recruitment. After sacking Roberto Martinez in 2016, they had to go to a tribunal with the current Belgium manager, where agreement was reached that a settlement of £11 million would be paid.

There then followed a £2 million compensation payment to Southampton for their manager, Ronald Koeman, who joined Everton in June 2016. Koeman was awarded a £6 million-a-year contract at Goodison Park, but he too was sacked in October 2017.

Everton board stunned

A deal was agreed that Everton would continue to pay his salary until he got a new managerial position, at which point they would deduct the difference. Everton’s board was stunned to find Koeman became the Dutch national manager on just £600,000-a-year and were forced into huge payments.

To replace Koeman, Everton had first wanted Marco Silva at Watford. Silva, it is believed, had expressed a desire to move, but the deal was blocked when Watford rejected Everton’s approach. Watford’s form suffered and Silva himself was sacked, with the club citing a ‘significant deterioration in focus and results’ as the main reason.

The row, however, had not finished, and when Silva became Everton’s manager in the summer of 2018, Watford threatened to take legal action through a full independent QC-led inquiry with a possibility of a points deduction for ‘tapping up’ their manager. Everton agreed to pay another £4 million in compensation to Watford to remove the threat of punishment.