x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

A whole new schedule for sacked football managers

As Brighton manager Gus Poyet is sacked on live television, Will Batchelor explores some possible new television formats for the increasingly popular spectacle of a man losing his job.

Gus Poyet has been dismissed as manager by Brighton & Hove Albion.
Gus Poyet has been dismissed as manager by Brighton & Hove Albion.

This week's live televised sacking of Gus Poyet reportedly marked a shocking new low for English football.

Really? To me, the only shock is that it took so long to happen.

Football's cavalier attitude toward job security is now so deeply woven into the dramatic fabric of the game that discussions over the dreaded "sack race" are given equal weight as to which team might actually win the league.

To many fans, the human circus surrounding football - hiring, firing, bust-ups and buy-outs - is apparently more interesting than what happens on the pitch.

So when the Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion sacked Poyet as manager via an online statement at the exact time he happened to be doing some Confederations Cup punditry for the BBC, what were the show's producers to do?

Ignore the breaking news and keep Poyet talking about Nigeria's defensive frailties? Who wants to talk about actual football when the telly fairies have dropped a freshly sacked manager into your lap?

On this occasion, the timing was coincidental. But it cannot be long before the terrific entertainment of a man losing his livelihood is worked into an official TV format.


Take Me Out Of The Managerial Merry-Go-Round

Under-threat managers (any who have lost a game in the past 48 hours) are contractually required to ride on what appears to be a traditional fairground carousel.

However, these horses are fitted with ejector seats, controlled remotely by each manager's respective board, which is locked in a secret booth alongside a vociferous panel of ill-informed fans, bitter ex-players, and pot-stirring talk-radio hosts.

If the board decides a manager should be sacked, the ejector seat button is activated and the hapless coach catapulted into a gunge-filled moat.

Who will remain seated upon their wooden steeds when the music stops? Remember, folks, no points … NO PONY!

Soccer AM-CV

A freshly sacked manager spends Saturday morning updating his curriculum vitae in the company of an over-excited studio audience, two irritating presenters and a series of tiresome in-jokes.

Match of the Resume

Highlights of some of the day's best job interviews, as a dozen unemployed managers battle to convince a new board to take them on.

Match of the Resume - You're Still Fired

Broadcast immediately after Match of the Resume, this light-hearted companion show will feature the day's most hilariously inept interview candidate as guest of honour, to be gently probed and teased by the studio audience and a panel of celebrity football fans.

Fantasy Football

Each week a different studio guest is asked to pretend he is a football manager and to compile his ideal team, under certain budgetary limits. The twist is that, until yesterday, he WAS a football manager.

Jimmy Hill's Sunday Supplementary Income.

Each week a newly sacked manager goes through the Sunday newspapers with Jimmy Hill, picking out stories of interest. Eventually, the newsagent tells the ex-manager he had better hurry up and deliver them before he changes his mind about hiring him.

Dole's on Sunday

Fly-on-wall format in which a sacked manager ekes out a life on unemployment benefits which, for no good reason besides the title sounding like television programme Goals on Sunday, must be given to him on a Sunday.