Gus Poyet and the 10 Most Bizarre Ways Managers Have Been Fired
Live television can be a risky beast; people can say something they shouldn't, there can be a technical error, one of your guests could be fired as Brighton & Hove Albion manager during the show and you have to tell them. You know, the usual.
Unfortunately for the BBC's coverage of the Confederations Cup game between Uruguay and Tahiti, the latter happened.
Before the kick off, a statement was released by Brighton & Hove Albion announcing that:
"Gus Poyet has been informed today by Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club's internal disciplinary panel that his employment has been terminated with immediate effect."
Here's where it gets ugly. Avram Grant-style ugly.
Poyet claims that he had not actually been informed by the club.
Brighton's (now former) manager claims the first he heard about it was, shortly after the statement was released, when he was working as pundit for the Uruguay and Tahiti game and a member of the BBC's production staff printed out and handed him the statement.
It resulted in this unique half time exchange.
So is this the most bizarre way a manager has found out he has lost his job in the history of football?
Not quite. We've found 10 weirder ones and we're going to run you through all of them. Well, that's as long as the powers that be at Bleacher Report don't fire us between slides 7 and 6 via a tweet or something.
10. Seeing It on TV
Picture the scene:
After a long day at work (don't get attached), you get home.
You get your evening meal ready, you sit down and have your meal on the sofa, you flick on the television.
It's the news.
"What's going on in the world today?" you ask yourself.
There's been some breaking news, you wonder what it could be. The story is...
You have been fired.
But don't worry, it has a happy ending. Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese did eventually fire Adkins face-to-face, moments later and hired former Espanyol manager, Mauricio Pochettino.
While Adkins got Reading relegated to the championship.
Oh, maybe it wasn't that much of a happy ending for Adkins.
9. Hearing It on the Radio
Even in this day and age of 24 hours news, social media and overhearing people speaking loudly on public transport, people still get their news via the radio.
In January 2012, Rio Verde from Brazil's Goias state, decided to tell the radio station that they had fired their manager before people like... oh, you know, the actual manager.
According to The Guardian, Betão Alcântara said of the moment he found out he didn't need to set his alarm for work in the morning:
"It was weird. I put the radio on when I got in from training and it said I was sacked. In 30 years in football I could never have imagined it. I feel lost."
At which point, we like to imagine that Alcântara began weeping as he belted out the lyrics to "Lost" by Michael Bublé.
8. Reading It in the Newspaper
Back in 1968, they didn't have 24 hour news, social media or people speaking loudly on public transport. People got their news via something that the people of the time called a 'newspaper'.
Most of you will probably have never heard of newspapers, but it was basically a paper full of news printed every day.
What did people do if some news happened after the papers of news had been printed, you ask?
Just wait until the next day.
And if you didn't like a bit of news in said paper of news, how could you leave a comment abusing the author?
You just couldn't. You just had to bite your tongue and get on with your life.
It was a really difficult time.
Especially for the late Sir Bobby Robson who, according to his autobiography Farewell but not Goodbye, found out he had been sacked from his first managerial job at Fulham when he saw an Evening Standard placard with the headline "Robson Sacked" outside Putney railway station in South London.
7. Via Email
Our email inbox is full of all sorts of rubbish, most of it is marketing emails from maillists we never signed up to, viagra spam or a Ugandan prince offering us $40,000,000 if we simply give him our bank details (imagine the amount of viagra you could buy with $40million.)
However, the inbox of Robert Sackey, Ghana's women's U20 coach, had something even more unwanted in it, in May 2013.
An email telling him he's been fired.
Sackey has been quoted as saying, according to GhanaSoccerNet:
"I received an email confirming my dismissal as the coach of the team. I have no grudge with anybody. I was given a job and the authorities feel my output was not good enough."
If we were Robert, we would first want to confirm that they hadn't sent the email off of their phone and our surname, Sackey, had been autocorrected to 'sacked' by accident.
6. Reading It on Teletext
You could get news on your TV, by pressing a button on your remote control and, for some reason, the UK loved it.
Well, not all of the UK.
Former Arsenal manager, Bruce Rioch (his CV simply reads "I brought Dennis Bergkamp to English Football" he doesn't need anything else on it) found out he had lost his job at Queens Park Rangers by reading it on Ceefax, the BBC's Teletext system, in 1997.
5. At Half Time
There was already wide speculation that Jol had been fired before the Spurs' October 2007 UEFA Cup clash with Getafe.
But Jol got confirmation during the interval, the Daily Mail claims.
We cannot imagine that led to an Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday style inspirational half time teamtalk from Jol.
4. On the Phone... on Your Birthday
This one isn't funny.
...on his birthday.
Jordan said to FourFourTwo Magazine of the incident:
"Trevor Francis didn’t take it very well. He just sat there quietly and said ‘But it’s my birthday’. I had no idea. What could I do? I said ‘Many happy returns, Trev,’ and gave him his P45.”
Ok, maybe it is a little funny.
3. Just Before a Post-Match Interview
Alright now, this one definitely isn't funny. It's cruel.
A grown man cries in this video.
Carl Fletcher (not the Harchester United legend) just casually mentioned in his post-match interview, following his Plymouth Argyle side's 2-1 loss to Bristol Rovers in January 2013, that he'd been fired.
When asked about the player's reaction to his dismissal, Fletcher had trouble holding back the tears.
And when asked by a reporter:
"You used the word 'sacked', is that what they did to you, you've been sacked?"
"No. No. I can't really remember the exact words."
If you don't have a job to go to anymore, Carl, then you’ve been sacked, mate.
2. During a Live TV Phone-in Show
Gus Poyet isn't the only manager to find out he's lost his job on live TV.
Saban Yildirim found out he'd lost his, as manager of Turkish club Sakaryaspor, in late 2011. Yildrim was a guest on a live TV phone-in show when one of Sakarvaspor's board members, Cihan Yildiran, phoned in the show to sack him in front of the whole world (well, a small portion of Turkey).
Yildiran said in his call:
"Saban humiliated the club, so he is removed."
Yildrim was said to be "very cross" about Yildiran's decision to phone-in and stated:
"They could have told me before, or after, the show. It's a real pity."
Come on now, Yildrim, have you never heard of 'putting on a good show'?
1. 10 Minutes After Being Hired
Poor Leroy Rosenior, he was sacked as manager of Torquay United, in May 2007, ten minutes after he was given the job.
"What on earth did he say?" you must be wondering.
Well, it wasn't really his fault.
Torquay's owner, Mike Bateson, sold his 51% share in the club, a mere ten minutes after the former QPR, Fulham and West Ham striker was unveiled as the manager.
And the new consortium wanted Paul Buckle as the manager, instead.
That is some efficient manager firing, Roman Abramovich must be in awe.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the 10 most bizarre managerial firings and we look forward to bring you many more lists like it. Hang on a second, we've just got a tweet from our bosses at Bleacher Report...