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December 01 , 2009

The Sack Race

The Story of Football's Gaffers


The future of football management is a hot topic of debate. An unprecedented spate of sackings in the 2001-02 season and the manner of many of the dismissals filled the back pages. There has even been talk of managers going on strike to defend their ill-treated colleagues.

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Packed with big names and exclusive stories, The Sack Race challenges the sanitised picture of football management portrayed in glossy autobiographies. It lays bare a profession where pressure to obtain results is immense and the tolerance of failure is low. Despite football's supposed professionalism, we learn that 'The Gaffer' is often an ill-prepared ex-player who has hopped onto the managerial merry-go-round more as a perceived 'character' than a qualified coach.

This remarkable book traces the development of the football manager's role, offers a critique of the way the game trains its coaches for management and raises valid concerns about the suitability of their employers - the directors whose impatience creates a climate of fear and insecurity. Finally, it asks the controversial question - does 'The Gaffer' have a future?

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