It’s no secret that the tenure of a football manager isn’t particularly long. Stats show the average time in a job for a manager across England’s four professional leagues is around 18 months.

Most managers know and accept their fate as soon as they take a job. Or, as Sheffield Wednesday’s Garry Monk put it to UCFB in an exclusive interview: “It’s just such a precarious positon.”

Monk, who took over at Hillsborough in September 2019, is honest in his appraisal of the managerial landscape. He says: “I’m pretty sure every manager would love to be in a job like the likes of Sir Alex and Wenger – go in, talk about a project and then have the time to build it and make a success of it. No one wants to be going from job to job. But it’s the job we just have to accept it.”

Wycombe’s Gareth Ainsworth, Eddie Howe of Bournemouth and Burnley’s Sean Dyche are the current longest serving managers in England, with each currently in their eighth year at their respective clubs.


Monk spoke to UCFB as part of the LMA Insight Series during his time as Birmingham City manager.

Monk himself has been a victim of the managerial merry-go-round, starting his management career in the Premier League with Swansea, before stints at Leeds, Middlesbrough and Birmingham City. Understandably, he has his own way of dealing with the crazy world of football management.

He told UCFB: “As soon as you can get your head around the fact that your job can be at risk at any moment, then you can concentrate on the important things and focus on what you can control. That’s when you give yourself the best opportunity [to succeed]. Those are the things that I focus on and have learnt really quickly in the time that I’ve been a manager.”

Reflecting on his managerial career so far, Monk added: “I’ve had a lot of experience in that time, suffering some lows but also really good highs as well, and I’ve tried to stay balanced all the way through it. It’s when the lows come that you need to be able to get your head around that. If you haven’t done certain bits right then you can reflect on that, be honest with yourself and put those right going forward.”