10 Ridiculous Things Football Managers Have Seen Fit To Ban

Chris Wright

15th, September 2015


With Jose Mourinho outlawing any and all training ground banter in all its forms at Chelsea today, we thought we’d run the rule over other such managerial mandates.

Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Alex Ferguson – Coloured boots

Back in 2010, Fergie issued a declaration from on high that all Manchester United youth players were banned from wearing gaudy coloured boots up until the point they forced their way into the reserve/senior squad – at which point the restrictions were lifted.


2. David Moyes – Chips

Among many other things, Moyes caught flak from senior Manchester United players (Rio Ferdinand called him “embarrassing and amateurish”) for having the temerity to ban them from partaking in their long-standing ritual of eating “low-fat chips” the night before a game. What a git.

3. Arsene Wenger – Mars bars

Wenger is widely credited as being at the forefront of English football’s giant leap forward in the mid-1990s, largely by virtue of replacing the Arsenal team’s pre-match cigarettes, lager and Mars bars with physical conditioning, mineral water and grilled chicken breasts.

Raymond Domenech

4. Raymond Domenech – Scorpios

Beloved ex-France manager Raymond Domenech used the ancient (and infallible) science of astrology to help him pick his starting XI’s in a bid to “consider all parameters” of team selection.

As well as admittedly having reservations about picking Leos in defence, Domenech also had a thing about Scorpios and the negative effect they had on the team – which duly signalled the end of Robert Pires’ international career.

5. Juande Ramos – Jaffa cakes

Flabbergasted by the sight of his Tottenham players frequenting McDonalds after training and eating Jaffa cakes at half-time, Ramos banned all junk food and instead had his nutrition specialist, Dr. Antonio Escribano (known colloquially as ”Doctor Baby Food”), whip up special “gastronomic cocktails” specifically concocted to help players maintain fitness. Yum.

6. Neil Lennon – Bobble hats

Having only been in the job for a day, Lennon went and banned his Bolton players from wearing bobble hats in training.

“I don’t want players training in hats because they don’t play football in hats,” Lennon reasoned, rather astutely.

For the record, Lennon then turned up for his first session looking like this…


The fantastic bastard.

7. John Toshack – Gravy

Scribbling away in his autobiography, Robbie Savage once revealed that John Toshack almost brought about the premature end of his Wales career by instigating a team-wide ban on gravy.

Soccer - UEFA Euro 2012 - Play-off - Second Leg - Ireland v Estonia - Aviva Stadium

8. Giovanni Trapattoni – Mushrooms

To a sea of perplexed faces, Trapattoni once banned his Republic of Ireland players from eating mushrooms on match days.

When asked to elaborate, Trap supposedly pointed to his stomach and then to that of Robbie Keane and said: “If they eat mushrooms, I think that maybe the next day they make the players go, ‘ooh-ah’.”

Glad we got that one cleared up.

9. Paul Le Guen – Monster Munch

The largely unpopular French coach caused a dressing room schism at Rangers when he banned captain Barry Ferguson from eating Monster Munch.

Britain Soccer Premier League

10. Paolo Di Canio – Absolutely everything

In a bid to assert his authority after just about keeping Sunderland in the Premier League, Di Canio began his preparations for the 2013/14 campaign by implementing a tough new regime – a brave new era of professionalism on Wearside.

Indeed, the Italian loon went and banned just about everything there was to ban – up to and including: tomato ketchup, mobile phones, coffee, mayonnaise, all carbonated soft drinks, ice, joking, gossiping and singing in the showers – all of which he regarded as “unnecessary distractions”.

He was sacked in September, five games into the season.

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  1. Maria says:

    Number 6 – I’m not sure if that’s absolutely terrible or astutely brilliant management.

  2. Luca says:

    it would just be too good to see coloured boots disappear for good.

  3. Chris says:

    Neil Lennon is a closet genius in the making.
    and for the record I may be past premium playing age – but when i was a kid of you had boots they were adidas, puma, patrick, even fucking hi-tek. ALL Black. If you could find coloured boots and you dared wearthem, got you beaten up.

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