A Timely Salute To 5 Football Managers Who Got Themselves Sacked In Style

Chris Wright

28th, September 2016


With the curious, if slightly tame, tale of Sam Allardyce dominating the back pages at the moment, Pies thought we’d herald five managerial employees who had the good grace to get themselves sacked with a bit of panache.

By which, of course, we mean illicit drug use, going AWOL, fighting, more fighting and a spectacular feat of petty theft…

Penarol coach


Back in 2007, a senior member of the coaching team at Uruguayan club Penarol was sacked after it was found that he’d been secretly administering his players with a drug more commonly used as a muscle-building supplement for racehorses.

The alert was raised when several players tested positive for Creatine, which left club doctor Alfredo Rienzi bemused.

“It’s bad, there’s no explaining it,” he remarked, his gob well and truly smacked.

Keith Armstrong


Despite having been named Finnish Manager of the Year on three prior occasions, FC Ilves were left with no option to part ways with Armstrong after he ditched one of their games in order to work a Premier League punditry shift.

The former Sunderland midfielder was supposed to be in the dugout for Ilves’ important league tie with SJK but instead showed up in the studio to provide analysis for MTV3’s coverage of the big derby between Everton and Liverpool.

Armstrong argued that both his assistant and his captain were aware he wouldn’t be in attendance at the match, but the Ilves board claimed that his no-show came as a “complete surprise” and promptly sacked him the very next day.

Nelson Vivas

Former Arsenal fringe player Vivas was sacked as Quilmes coach in 2013 after he was filmed assaulting a Quilmes fan.

Vivas found that his position at the Argentinian club quickly became untenable when he was accosted by an angry supporter after a 1-1 draw with Atletico Raffaela and dealt with the situation by slugging the guy right between the eyes.

According to local reports, the red mist descended after the fan yelled “referees are robbing us and you’re doing nothing about it!” as Vivas made his way back to the dressing room.

Weirdly, it looked for a moment like Vivas was going to keep his job, with the Quilmes fan in question – a man known only as ‘Carlos’ – contacting Argentine station Radio La Red the following day to admit that he deserved to be blamed for the incident, saying: “[Vivas] shouldn’t have to apologise to me because it was all in the heat of the moment. I think Vivas should continue.”

Unfortunately, Quilmes president Anibal Fernandez didn’t agree and finally got round to ousting Vivas the next week, telling local reporters: “Professionals like Vivas can’t get angry about these things, they need to be able to show level-headedness. What happened was crazy.”

Delio Rossi

With the team perched in a perilous position above the relegation zone with just two games left to play, tension brimmed over into violence in the Fiorentina dug-out at the business end of the 2011-12 season.

It didn’t help when the Viola found themselves 2-0 down after just 30 minutes in a game against second-bottom club Novara.

Realising a change needed to be made, coach Delio Rossi hauled midfielder Adem Ljajic off the pitch who then made the fatal error of giving his beleaguered manager a sarcastic clap.

The gesture didn’t go down well with Rossi, who duly clambered down into the dugout and slapped seven shades out of the young Serbian midfielder.

The game actually finished 2-2 thanks to a brace from Riccardo Montolivo, but Rossi was sacked by Fiorentina shortly after.

Josip Gaspar


Photo: Blic

Josip ‘Jozo’ Gaspar – a true Pies hero – was sacked as manager of NK Precko Zagreb in 2013 after he stole a player’s credit card and used it to buy not one, not two, but 36 litres of Jagermeister.

According to local media reports at the time, Jozo sneaked into the dressing room of FC Sparta Elektra (a local team who shared their training facilities with Precko) and pinched a wallet from an open bag before driving into town and blowing roughly £450 on 36 litre-bottles of booze.

Gaspar’s face was almost immediately recognised on CCTV due to him having played several hundred times for Dinamo Zagreb in the early-to-mid 1990s and police later arrested him as he attempted to buy yet more alcohol with the stolen card at a second shop later in the day.

He was then fired from his job at Precko shortly thereafter. If you’re going to go, then you may as well go out in style.