Revealed - The crazy cash sums being paid out to Premier League managers when they are sacked
Antonio Conte is set to collect a €10m windfall when he is ousted from his position as Chelsea manager in the coming days, with the full costs of managerial sackings one of the more unfathomable sideshows of the Premier League soap opera.
Tony Pulis, Mark Hughes, Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew are among the big-name managers who have been sacked in unceremonious fashion over the course of a Premier League season that concluded last weekend.
Yet instead of feeling sympathy for those who suffer the most public of departures from their jobs, consider just how lucrative the art of failure has become for the fortunate few on the managerial merry-go-round.
For the names mentioned above and their agents who finalise severance deals that include clauses not to speak negatively about the club they are leaving in public, losing football matches is a get rich quick plan that can become addictive.
In an era when instant success is demanded by owners of Premier League clubs who dare not contemplate the prospect of relegation from the competition that guarantees a £100m-a-year minimum payment, hiring and firing managers has become an expensive pastime, with those on the end of their axe more than compensated for a bruising of their egos.
Chelsea have led the way in huge pay-offs for their highly-paid managers down the years, with Jose Mourinho, Luis Felipe Scolari, Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo among those who continued to be paid their full weekly salary after their sacking in a policy that sees payment end when the departed tacticians land a new job.
Di Matteo collected his full weekly wage from Chelsea until his contract expired in the June 2014, even though he was sacked 19 months earlier and similarly lavish hand-outs came the way of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal after their sackings at Manchester United.
According to United’s club accounts, dispensing of the services of Moyes and his backroom staff 10 months into a six-year contract at Old Trafford cost the club £5.2m and they then paid £8.4m to get rid of Van Gaal in the summer of 2016.
Football, it seems, is one of the few jobs that offer full payment for those considered to be failing in their jobs, and they don’t even have to undergo a probation period to qualify for the lottery-style cash gift they are presented with as they leave.
An estimated €35m has been handed out to sacked Premier League managers over the course of this season alone, with some of the deals in place devoid of business sense.
Well sourced reports in Holland suggest Everton will still be paying their departed manager Ronald Koeman a mind-blowing £5.4m next season, even though the Dutchman was sacked last October after overseeing a disastrous start to the campaign.
Under the terms of his severance package, Everton did not pay up the remainder of Koeman’s three-year contract in one lump sum, with the £6m annual salary still being paid by the Goodison Park club every week until their departed boss found fresh employment.
His appointment as Holland national team coach appeared to be a relief to Everton’s finances, yet it has emerged that the Goodison Park club are still liable to compensate Koeman for any shortfall he receives from his new employers.
As the Dutch FA are paying Koeman just £600,000-a-year, Everton will have to pay out the extra cash to take his salary up to £6m until June 2019.
This kind of extraordinary deal is not uncommon in the England’s top flight, especially when club chairman move into panic mode trying to hire a manager who they believe can persevere their status in the Premier League.
That was the situation Everton found themselves in when they opted to sack Koeman and went in search of a new manager mid-way through the season.
Everton officials initially walked away from a potential deal with Allardyce last November after he demanded a contract that ran until the summer of 2019 and a £2m relegation survival bonus.
Yet after a shocking 4-1 defeat at Southampton under the watch of caretaker boss David Unsworth raised the prospect of relegation to alarming levels, Goodison Park chiefs returned to the negotiating table and gave Allardyce precisely what he wanted.
The end result has been all-too predictable, with Big Sam duly sacked last Wednesday and Everton now liable to pass over an estimated £5m to get rid of a manager the club barely wanted in the first place.
Maybe we shouldn’t expect anything less from the club that signed up to a deal that meant they reportedly had to pay Roberto Martinez an eye-watering £10m to leave the club when they rushed to appoint Koeman in the summer of 2016.
The madness does not stop at Everton’s door, with Pardew believed to have received a £500,000 pay-off following his chaotic 21-game reign as West Bromwich Albion manager that yielded just one Premier League win and Craig Shakespeare picking up a reported severance package of £1m after he was sacked by Leicester just ten games into this season.
Watford’s revolving managerial door will ensure that compensation payments to managers will be ongoing in a season when they have sacked Marco Silva and are expected to dispense with the services of current boss Javi Gracia.
It is madness happening before our eyes and yet no one seems to question club owners who have more money than sense when they make appointments they should be held responsible for.
The men running Premier League football clubs are successful businessmen who have not made their millions using such expensively reckless hiring and firing methods, yet they park all logic in the car park before the walk through the door at football clubs.
Despite the cost mounting up and the warning signs flashing brightly, this unpalatable hire-em, fire-em mentality is unlikely to stop any time soon.
SHORT TERM FIX
Premier League owners did not wait long to wield the axe in this Premier League season, with a host of managers sacked in double quick time after a poor run of results.
The figures next to each manager represents the number of Premier League games they took charge of this season before they were sacked.
Craig Shakespeare (Leicester) – 8 games this season
Ronald Koeman (Everton) – 9
Slaven Bilic (West Ham) – 11
Tony Pulis (West Brom) - 12
Paul Clement (Swansea) - 18
Alan Pardew (West Brom) – 18
Mark Hughes (Stoke) – 22
Marco Silva (Watford) 24
Mauricio Pellegrino (Southampton) - 30