Top 6 Most Controversial Football Managers

Waking up to the news that Paolo Di Canio, well-known as a controversial football manager, had been sacked after just 13 games with Sunderland this season was an expected shock. With taking only 1 point from the 5 league games played so far makes the sacking somewhat understandable.

Controversial Football Manager, Paolo Di Canio, Sacked From Sunderland
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I don’t think the entire blame should be placed on the Paolo Di Canio as it was the board’s decision to choose a Conference Premier Manager to manage a Premier League team. Paolo Di Canio went from managing Swindon Town in the Conference Premier in May 2011 to seeing them through to League Two in 2013. Can Paolo Di Canio really be blamed for his lack of success in the Premier League with having managed for only 2 years in the Conference Premier league? Or is the Sunderland board to blame?

Not only did the controversial football manager, Paolo Di Canio, have to fend off claims that he was too under experienced to be the Sunderland manager. He also had to fend off claims that he had fascist beliefs. He was one of those controversial football managers who did not shy away from the media and who had a few of his own controversial moments. One of those moments was him threatening to fine seven players if they did not perform “with dignity” in their final Premier League game.

Sitting in the office this morning, me and the team started talking about Paolo Di Canio and other outspoken and controversial football managers. We decided to celebrate Paolo Di Canio’s short reign at Sunderland by listing the top 6 most controversial football managers in history… enjoy!

Harry Redknapp

The first on our list of controversial football managers is Harry Redknapp. Some people may forget, Harry was arrested in 2007 as part of an investigation into football corruption. He also caused a stir with Portsmouth fans after leaving to manage their arch-enemies, Southampton. Harry Redknapp repeated history by returning to Portsmouth after Southampton was relegated in 2005 causing anger from Southampton fans.

Harry Redknapp Arrested
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Ron Atkinson

Ron Atkinson, otherwise known as ‘Big Ron’ was always known for his outspoken and opinionated nature but he was well-loved even if he was a controversial football manager. However in 2004 when ‘Big Ron’ was in the broadcasting, he forgot that his microphone was still on and unforgivably made racist remarks towards Marcel Desailly. This inevitably led to his dismissal from ITV and the end of his broadcasting career.

Big Ron Makes Racist Remarks About Desailly
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Raymond Domenech

Domenech caused quite a stir amongst the French players in the 2010 World Cup. He had a massive row with Nicolas Anelka after one of their games about the tactics being deployed and the management skills. This led to mutiny among the French players with Domenech losing control. This led to his dismissal by the French Football Federation.

Domenech in 2010 Word Cup
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Paolo Di Canio

Well at least Paolo Di Canio has made it to one Top list. During his short term managing Sunderland, Di Canio famously asked the referee in the Sunderland v Arsenal game to send him off the pitch. This happened after Paolo Di Canio was arguing with the referee about Arsenal wasting time.

Paolo Di Canio asks Referee to Send him off
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Sir Alex Ferguson

Another famous manager known for his controversy just as much as his greatness is ‘Fergie’. This moment is possibly the most controversial and talked about of the lot. Fergie and David Beckham were famous for their locker room disputes. However what made history was when Fergie angrily kicked a stray football boot, hitting Beckham just above the eye… ouch!

Fergie Throws Boot at Beckham
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Jose Mourinho

Never one to stay away from our top 10 lists, Mourinho is the king of controversy! It is fair to say that Mourinho has a number of famous controversial moments under his belt. One of the most famous was when Jose Mourinho was fined £75,000 for having “tapped up” Ashley Cole illegally before signing him for Chelsea. Another was when he poked Barcelona’s coach, Tito Vilanove, in the eye during a Super Cup match in the 2011/12 season.

Mourinho Pokes Vilanove in the eye
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What football manager do you believe to be the most controversial? Let us know by leaving your comments below.