The managerial turnover in England continues apace, with nine coaches across the top four divisions having left their posts this season and more set to follow. In the Premier League speculation surrounds the futures of Martin Jol and Chris Hughton, while in the Championship and below the rate of departure is even higher.
Two managers have left clubs in the top-flight this term, albeit in contrasting style. Paolo Di Canio was sacked by Sunderland on 22 September having only been appointed in March, while Ian Holloway and Crystal Palace parted company last month. Holloway had been in the job less than a year.
The desire of owners and supporters for immediate success, along with the volatile personalities of some individuals within management, combine to make it an unforgiving business. At Blackburn Rovers, under the Venky's regime, there have been five different men in charge during two and a half years and the incumbent, Gary Bowyer, has recently been called to India for discussions with the owners.
There are myriad other examples of clubs where two years in charge is considered a success. In the Premier League, between José Mourinho's departure from Chelsea in 2007 and his return last summer, seven different men were in charge, either on an interim or full-time basis.
The situation as a whole is something the League Managers Association chief executive, Richard Bevan, recently described as "embarrassing". He said: "It is safe to say clubs in the Premier League and the Football League have spent millions of pounds in the last 12 months dismissing managers and resolving contractual and employment law disputes. It should also be noted that when a manager is dismissed it is often the case that all or most of his coaching staff go at the same time.
"This adds significantly to the expense and the overall disruption of the club. A considerable amount of that cost could be saved by the adoption of an agreed standard contract and set of procedures specifically related to early termination, allowing savings to be reinvested invested in grassroots and for the development of future coaches and players.
"One obvious reason is that clubs want instant success and have a short-term focus on first team results. However, what I do think would be of benefit is for everyone in the game or associated to a club to take a step back and actually define success. if clubs take that step back and look at their league position in relation to their resources, squad, stadium capacity, attendances, budget etc. and compare that with other teams I am sure that more would realise that they are in fact being successful – often 'punching above their weight'."
It is an issue that is not merely related to the English game, yet the statistics are damning. Figures released by the LMA following the 2012-13 campaign show that the average tenure for dismissed managers across the top divisions was 1.84 years.
The Championship was the most rife league for comings and goings, with the same figure dropping to 1.04 years in the second tier. In the Premier League that number was 2.81 years, in League One 1.37 years and League Two 2.57 years.
On the Championship turnover, Bevan added: "Of course this is of concern when the average life of a manager in a division is essentially one year. Again the financial gains of reaching the Premier League are so great that these may influence the decisions of Championship clubs to change managers if they do not get off to a good start to the season."
The number of managers sacked each season has risen steadily for the past seven years. Forty-three were dismissed in the league last term, while 20 resigned, compared to 33 and 16 the previous year.
A record 53 managers were sacked during the 2001-2 campaign but there have never been as many resignations across all four divisions as there were last season. The most common month for departures throughout the course of the year is March, as struggling teams look for salvation in the closing stages of the season, in many cases with the threat of looming large.
It is a fairly damning indictment on the industry when only two managers have been at their current club for longer than five years – Arsenal's Arsène Wenger and Paul Tisdale at Exeter City – albeit that number was higher last season before the exits of Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes and Tony Pulis. Nigel Clough was approaching the five-year mark until he was sacked by Derby County in September. Clough is now at Sheffield United following the exit of David Weir, who lasted only 13 games.