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Lack of English managers in England - why?

People often ask me here why there are a lack of English managers in the Premier League, and with it being dominated now by Spanish, German, Italian and Argentinean managers amongst others, I am lost for an answer.

No other big league from such a major country has such an absence of managers from its own country - why is this? Lack of interest from former footballers or investment from the FA in qualifying as a manager? Boards trusting foreign managers more? It just seems so strange that so many foreign born coaches are appointed, many who also have to quickly learn the language (which is impressive).

This, along with the lack of success of English managers abroad, is a bit of a mystery to me so I wondered what people on here think the main factors are.
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Comments

  • Good question, actually
  • Based on no research whatsoever, I think it is because the Premier League has deliberately tried to become the global league for the world to follow. As a consequence, most of the owners of the clubs are now foreign, a lot of the players are and therefore the managers.
  • It just seems to have become so expected, and it is certainly great to see the world's best coaches in England (especially when they are bringing through new English talent) but would be met with a lot more concern in the other top European leagues.

    Maybe it could be related to the worldwide use of English which allows non-English managers to adapt more easily. This could be a factor also as to why English managers have generally not managed abroad, and also why here in the Spanish La Liga it is mainly Spanish or South American managers.
  • edited January 5
    Same two reasons reason as the lack of English players.

    1) When clubs, even those with the least financial muscle, have the resources to attract the best managers from any part of the world then they are no longer limited to geography or proximity. This means they can afford to hire the finished article from overseas rather than gamble on someone from lower down the rankings (I.e the EFL) who may or may not be able to recreate their success at a higher level.

    2) Linked to the above, because the Premier League is so lucrative, the smaller clubs who would normally be the natural stepping stone for a manager who is doing well further down the pyramid and a really big job have only a very short term view. Around 10-12 clubs in the Premier League live from season to season with only avoiding relegation as their aim. That’s why they are less willing to take a gamble on a guy who has done well in League One/Championship as they worry that might become both their level and favour a foreign coach with top flight experience.

    I’d guess that lots, if not most, of the English managers in the Prem are in situ after getting their team promoted rather than having been hired into the job when the team was in top flight, mainly for the reasons given above.
  • Chunes said:

    EPL is the best league in the world so a club will have the best manager it can afford.

    That's taking from a worldwide pool.

    So in a worldwide pool of the best managers, English managers represent a small percentage.

    So there won't be a lot of English managers in the EPL.

    But even if the EPL is the best, surely La Liga isn't far behind and they have far more homegrown coaches.

    I think the argument about FA funding for coaches and English players' own managerial ambitions is far more relevant.
  • English people are too lazy to do the job
  • edited January 5
    Had a little look at how the top leagues compare (must have too much time on my hands) for homegrown managers:

    Italy - 20/20
    Spain - 18/20
    Germany - 13/18
    England - 4/20

    Even if Chris Hughton is added to make it 5 for England, that makes pretty grim reading. Or alternatively shows that the Premier League attracts the best managers! Either way, it's not great for the future of England managers, especially as two of the current English coaches are the aging Neil Warnock and Roy Hodgson. Where are the future English managers going to come from, especially for the national side?
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  • Had a little look at how the top leagues compare (must have too much time on my hands) for homegrown managers:

    Italy - 20/20
    Spain - 18/20
    Germany - 13/18
    England - 4/20

    Even if Chris Hughton is added to make it 5 for England, that makes pretty grim reading. Or alternatively shows that the Premier League attracts the best managers! Either way, it's not great for the future of England managers, especially as two of the current English coaches are the aging Neil Warnock and Roy Hodgson. Where are the future English managers going to cone from, especially for the national side?

    The FA have probably the finest facilities in the world for a national team in St George’s Park. They’re approach to youth is now showing the benefits. They now need to apply that to coaches. Make it more affordable for people to do their badges. Make ALL clubs adhere to a minimum homegrown coach rule.
  • Are all of the overseas managers better than what is available in the UK? Of course not.

    Would Chelsea ever take a punt on a Chris Powell or a Lee Bowyer? Of course not.

    The upper echelons of the PL operates in a bubble of nonsense, where "the best" is not British. I've rarely had time for Sam Allardyce, but his quote was spot on...

    "‘I won’t ever be going to a top-four club because I’m not called Allardici, just Allardyce".
  • Chunes said:

    EPL is the best league in the world so a club will have the best manager it can afford.

    That's taking from a worldwide pool.

    So in a worldwide pool of the best managers, English managers represent a small percentage.

    So there won't be a lot of English managers in the EPL.

    But even if the EPL is the best, surely La Liga isn't far behind and they have far more homegrown coaches.

    I think the argument about FA funding for coaches and English players' own managerial ambitions is far more relevant.
    DUe to how tv monet works in spain, would a mid table la liga side not be a lot poorer than a mid table Prem side?
  • Yes - I am sure money has a lot to do with it, but the other factors suggested are important too. Mainly wanted to highlight how different the situation is to the other leagues and especially how this is likely to impact on the national team if we want an English coach. The Championship is mainly English coaches, but how many of them will get a chance in the Premier League unless they take their club up?
  • edited January 5

    Are all of the overseas managers better than what is available in the UK? Of course not.

    Would Chelsea ever take a punt on a Chris Powell or a Lee Bowyer? Of course not.

    The upper echelons of the PL operates in a bubble of nonsense, where "the best" is not British. I've rarely had time for Sam Allardyce, but his quote was spot on...

    "‘I won’t ever be going to a top-four club because I’m not called Allardici, just Allardyce".

    An Allardyce by any other name is still a very limited manager, that’s why he didn’t get a chance - not because he didn’t spell his name the right way.

    Out of interest, which English managers not plying their trade in the top flight would you hire if you were, say, Everton?
  • edited January 5

    Had a little look at how the top leagues compare (must have too much time on my hands) for homegrown managers:

    Italy - 20/20
    Spain - 18/20
    Germany - 13/18
    England - 4/20

    Even if Chris Hughton is added to make it 5 for England, that makes pretty grim reading. Or alternatively shows that the Premier League attracts the best managers! Either way, it's not great for the future of England managers, especially as two of the current English coaches are the aging Neil Warnock and Roy Hodgson. Where are the future English managers going to come from, especially for the national side?

    Not wanting to take the thread another direction but them stats above are something very similar with people in said countries DNA make up, I maybe completely wrong.

    I'm. Pretty sure it was Italy who came top and UK bottom of the list in that category i see.

    Could it be as simple as we are more welcoming and diverse as a country?

    Sorry if it doesn't make sense but typing quick
  • se9addick said:

    Are all of the overseas managers better than what is available in the UK? Of course not.

    Would Chelsea ever take a punt on a Chris Powell or a Lee Bowyer? Of course not.

    The upper echelons of the PL operates in a bubble of nonsense, where "the best" is not British. I've rarely had time for Sam Allardyce, but his quote was spot on...

    "‘I won’t ever be going to a top-four club because I’m not called Allardici, just Allardyce".


    Out of interest, which English managers not plying their trade in the top flight would you hire if you were, say, Everton?
    I’ve heard great things about an up and coming manager currently at Oxford 😉
  • Another part of it is that when premier league clubs DO recruit British managers they tend (or hopefully tended, past tense) to just recruit the same old familiar faces: Bruce, Pardew, Allardyce, Redknapp etc. even though these guys have proven short term at best and never really excelled over an extended period, and are fairly conservative and unimaginative in football terms - the game changes over time, they have not. Bright up and comers like Powell or Howe (or Hughton, no spring chicken but a far more 'modern' manager) are out there in the lower leagues but get passed over in favour of ''names", not making it into the Premiership unless they manage to get there with a promoted club, which will only get harder with the money sloshing around the top.
  • Maybe is it because, generally, they are a bit dumb in comparison, compare Allardyce,Mcmahon,Moyes,Pulis etc. with the likes of Wenger,Klopp,Guardiola,Mourinho ??

    An anecdote of mine from some 15 years ago....
    My son aged about 12 was playing for his team Footscray Lions in a international tournament in central France with predominantly French teams but a couple of German teams, and a Belgian team i think.
    We got the coach there, and eventually arrived to see all the French teams training across the pitch - so, effectively 6 a side, small goals, emphasis on keeping the ball and keeping it on the floor.

    Some 2 months later, my sons team coach came up to me and said 'Stu, sign here' ....'What its is Norman'.....'oh, its the London FA, they are forcing us to train and play across the pitch, remember, like in France?, and we've got a petition up to stop them from doing it - we want to play the way we've always played' - i refused to sign and the Spanner twat didnt talk to me again (thank fuck).

    Anyway, is this an idea of the types of coaches we are generating at Junior level? And no wonder we have any real progression into senior management.

    Also i sat directly behind the Sunderland bench for an FA Youth cup at The Valley, and i thought i'd listen to what Kevin Ball coaching the young players, and i was quite shocked with the 'very' basic level of coaching he was trying to relay to his players...'kick him' 'just boot it', 'chase it' - the sort of things you'd hear in sunday league.
  • It's a very intresting question. Some thoughts, musings and waffle coming up.......

    The historic reason is partly due to the nature of England and Britain that is unique to the major football leagues of Europe. While German, Spanish and Italian clubs would have had 80/90% native squads "English" teams have always had large numbers of Scottish, Irish and Welsh players, people like Shankley and Busby were part of the "English" system before they became managers. Even before freedom of movement non English managers would have won more trophies in England than would have been the case elsewhere.

    Although there had been foreign managers in England before the mass import of foreign players, I would say that ball really started rolling when Glenn Hoddle went to Chelsea. He played a proper sweeper system, normally himself, and bought in foreign players used to that system. When he left the obvious choice to carry on that style, with a multinational squad, was the multilingual Guilet that was already at the club.

    As has already been mentioned the purchasing power of the Premier league is so strong, there is probably on 10-15 European clubs that can compete with the wages Bournemouth and Watford can pay. A fair comparison maybe the 20 Premier league clubs against the 20 "other clubs" with the highest revenue? That would give 10% of the 40 clubs having English managers, maybe a truer reflection on coaching ability?

    Fashion has always influenced chairman, Wagner and AVB, it could be said, got their first English jobs due to Klopp and Jose being flavour of the month at the time.

    Champions league experience is a big factor for the top six. Unlike Italy very few managers manage more than 1 of our "big 6", Graham, Hoddle, AVB, Jose and Rafa off the top of my head in the current era. I would only count Jose as relevant. The first 3 due to changes at the club, rafa as he was only caretaker. The only way a top English club can get a manager with champions league experience is to get one from abroad. As there are very few English managers abroad 99.9% of the time they will be foreign. Maybe Hodgson to Blackburn was the exception?

    Moyes didn't have champions league experience and boy did it show!

    Most British, let alone English, managers who have managed in the premier league got their first job in the prem via promotion. Other notable routes are already being at the club (Monk, Southgate, Coleman), high profile number 2s (Mclaren and Phelan) or relative success at international level (Hughes and Hodgson). The first 2 of those options are as likley to be foreign now, reflecting the make up of the squads.

    Looking to the future I would expect both Neviles to be involved in the premier league as managers in the future. I would be pleasantly supprised if Lampard AND Gerrard both make it at the top level, although promotion and champions league football respectively could massively improve their chances.
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  • Being multi-lingual helps especially given how English players are the minority in the premier league so first team squads while having some or a lot of capability to speak or at least understand English it won't be their first language.

    Cost of doing the coaching badges is hugely prohibitive, throw a bit of tactical naivety which up until recently has been a trademark of British players, add in foreign managers and champions league pedigree in which very very few English managers have and high level experience full stop and all of a sudden, like the talent pool for the national team. The cupboard is bare.

    Something to also consider is how in Italy clubs educate their kids both in a educational sense as well as doing tactics after training. Like how to play against a side using a defensive 532 or 433, how to optimize possession, how and when to press.

    That's a big reason why Italian managers will always be employed in top leagues, tactically they are a different class. Of course that's not all the game is about but at the highest level getting your set up right is massive.

    It can't be overlooked either that for the last 15 years players have earned so much that as long as they haven't been completely bone-headed with their money they should be able to live very well without taking an enormously stressful job like management.
  • se9addick said:

    Are all of the overseas managers better than what is available in the UK? Of course not.

    Would Chelsea ever take a punt on a Chris Powell or a Lee Bowyer? Of course not.

    The upper echelons of the PL operates in a bubble of nonsense, where "the best" is not British. I've rarely had time for Sam Allardyce, but his quote was spot on...

    "‘I won’t ever be going to a top-four club because I’m not called Allardici, just Allardyce".

    An Allardyce by any other name is still a very limited manager, that’s why he didn’t get a chance - not because he didn’t spell his name the right way.

    Out of interest, which English managers not plying their trade in the top flight would you hire if you were, say, Everton?
    I genuinely don't have an answer to your question as I haven't got a clue about other clubs managers, but without a doubt, amongst the 72 EFL clubs (where the majority of the managers are British), there will be several that would make a success at the top level. However, its not in any of the top PL clubs interest to do due diligence and discover them. Can you imagine the media and fan storm if Chelsea, Man U or even Everton went after Bowyer when they could have had a relatively unknown Italian or German?

    I don't disagree on the Allardyce point, it was the sentiment that I have sympathy for, rather than the individual..
  • Had a little look at how the top leagues compare (must have too much time on my hands) for homegrown managers:

    Italy - 20/20
    Spain - 18/20
    Germany - 13/18
    England - 4/20

    Even if Chris Hughton is added to make it 5 for England, that makes pretty grim reading. Or alternatively shows that the Premier League attracts the best managers! Either way, it's not great for the future of England managers, especially as two of the current English coaches are the aging Neil Warnock and Roy Hodgson. Where are the future English managers going to come from, especially for the national side?

    So 2 out of the 4 (or 5) are over 70 years old.

  • Outside of maybe Howe, I can't see any English manager that deserves to be at the top level of the game in management.

    And even with Howe I feel like he's got a good thing going at Bournemouth, which he may not be able to replicate anywhere else. Bit like Moyes.
  • edited January 6

    Outside of maybe Howe, I can't see any English manager that deserves to be at the top level of the game in management.

    And even with Howe I feel like he's got a good thing going at Bournemouth, which he may not be able to replicate anywhere else. Bit like Moyes.

    It's this approach (which is easy to understand) that creates the situation in which 80% of PL managers are not British. I cannot believe there isn't one manager outside of the PL, operating in British football that, couldn't go to a top club and deliver. Statistically there must be at least one. I don't know who they are, but they are out there.
  • Nigel Clough.

    Nearly kept a club in Burton with the infrastructure of Dover, Maidstone or Bromley, with all due respect to them, in the Championship last season and has done well wherever he has been.

    Definitely a fine manager in his own right and not just because of his old man in my opinion.
  • Lee Johnson (Bristol City)
    Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)
    Dean Smith (Aston Villa)
    Neil Harris (Forgotten who he manages)
    Dan Crowley (Lincoln)
    Lee Bowyer (Charlton)
    Frank Lampard (Derby)

    All English who have done rather well of late and many doing so without much of a budget either - Always wonder what they could do with some serious backing
  • Lee Johnson (Bristol City)
    Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)
    Dean Smith (Aston Villa)
    Neil Harris (Forgotten who he manages)
    Dan Crowley (Lincoln)
    Lee Bowyer (Charlton)
    Frank Lampard (Derby)

    All English who have done rather well of late and many doing so without much of a budget either - Always wonder what they could do with some serious backing

    And you know for a fact that, when an opportunity arises at a decent sized premier league team, they won't even be a consideration. The one exception might be Lampard, but that would almost reinforce the view that perhaps decisions are as much about PR as they are about capability.
  • English people are too lazy to do the job

    A bit like fruit picking/harvesting.
  • Lee Johnson (Bristol City)
    Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)
    Dean Smith (Aston Villa)
    Neil Harris (Forgotten who he manages)
    Dan Crowley (Lincoln)
    Lee Bowyer (Charlton)
    Frank Lampard (Derby)

    All English who have done rather well of late and many doing so without much of a budget either - Always wonder what they could do with some serious backing

    And you know for a fact that, when an opportunity arises at a decent sized premier league team, they won't even be a consideration. The one exception might be Lampard, but that would almost reinforce the view that perhaps decisions are as much about PR as they are about capability.
    Or if they are considered they'll be given about 10 matches half of which are against the top six so wont get time to prove themselves
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