Roman Abramovich's rash judgement has earned him a big reputation, but the Chelsea owner isn't the only man in a position of power to wield his axe on whim and fancy. talkSPORT look at the trigger-happy owners who have made a career out of giving coaches the boot...
Son of former Inter president Angelo Moratti, you could say it was written in the stars that Massimo Moratti would go on to lead the Nerazzuri.... but few would have guessed that he would sack so many managers along the way. In fact, caretaker coaches aside, the only two managers to avoid the axe at Inter under Moratti are Jose Mourinho and current coach Andrea Stramaccioni, though the jury is still out on the latter. Moratti even managed to give Rafa Benitez, Leonardo, Claudio Ranieri and Gian Piero Gasperini the boot in the space of two seasons. Admittedly, the Inter owner has ploughed a serious amount of money into his team, bringing five Serie A titles and a Champions League to the San Siro, but he could arguably have done even better in his 17 years in charge had he not chopped and changed his managers so often.
Name: Florentino Perez
Club: Real Madrid
Years in charge: 2000-2006, 2009-present
Managers sacked: Six (Including Vicente del Bosque and Manuel Pellegrini)
Though Madrid president Florentino Perez isn't actually the clubs owner and can't claim to have sacked as many coaches as Moratti, Abramovich and others, it's the context of the dismissals that make him truly trigger happy. Most recently, Manuel Pellegrini was shown the door in 2010 despite finishing only three points behind Barcelona in La Liga, having accumulated an astounding 96 points and scored 102 goals. Though his replacement Jose Mourinho would go on to win the league title in his second year in charge, Pellegrini's side were arguably just as exciting, and would likely have picked up some silverware had he been given his own second season with the reigns at the Bernabeu. Nothing compares to the dismissal of Vicente del Bosque, however, a man who managed to turn 11 inflated egos into a team capable of winning two Champions Leagues and two domestic titles in the space of four years. Holding the Galacticos together through brilliant man management wasn't enough for Perez to renew Del Bosque's contract, however, and he promptly showed him the door in 2003 having just won another title. Madrid haven't won a Champions League trophy since, turning their quest for the 'Decima' (10th European Cup) into an obsession. Del Bosque, meanwhile, has become only the second manager to win the World Cup and European Championship, and the only man to win the World Club Cup (the old Intercontinental Cup, in 2002 with Real) and World Cup.
Name: Roman Abramovich
Years in charge: 2003 – present
Managers sacked: Six
Perhaps the most striking feature of Abramovich's various managerial sackings down the years is that the trophies they've brought him mean little to the Russian beyond the moment. Most recently, Roberto Di Matteo was given the boot despite bringing Abramovich the Champions League title he had coveted for nearly a decade, while Carlo Ancelotti's league and cup double wasn't enough to buy him more time after committing the crime of finishing second to Man United in his second season at the Bridge. Current Chelsea caretaker Rafa Benitez is in theory supposed to be with the Blues until the end of the season, but would anyone really be surprised if he's released before his contract is due to expire? Even Jose Mourinho, who delivered two titles, two League Cups and one FA Cup in three seasons, wasn't spared. The trouble is, as long as Chelsea keep winning trophies, Abramovich will have no reason to change tactic and that may scare off Pep Guardiola.
Name: Mike Ashley
Club: Newcastle United
Years in charge: 2007 – present
Managers sacked: Two
Mike Ashley hasn't actually sacked many coaches, but causing Toon legend Kevin Keegan to resign then subsequently take legal action against Newcastle was quite something, as was appointing Alan Shearer on an eight game basis in a pitiful attempt to ward off relegation in 2009. Then there was Chris Hughton, who led the Toon to Premier League promotion - saving Mike Ashley's investment - during the 2009/10 campaign, only to be given the boot on December 2010 despite the Toon sitting comfortably in 11th place. Most recently, Ashley awarded Alan Pardew an eight-year contract extension after one good season, only for Newcastle's form to subsequently taking a nose dive. Unsurprisingly, the owner polarises the Newcastle support.
Name: Jesus Gil y Gil
Club: Atletico Madrid
Years in charge: 1987 – 2003
Managers sacked: 38
The king of sacking coaches on a whim, Jesus Gil's ruthlessness with the axe was only matched by his madness in every other walk of life. Not only did Gil sack his manager on 38 seperate occasions, but he sacked Atletico Madrid's entire youth academy, closing the institution (which included legendary Real Madrid striker Raul) and branding it as 'pointless'. Some of the coaches to be sacked by Gil include Luis Aragones (twice), Ron Atkinson, Claudio Ranieri, and, above all, Radomir Antic, who had brought Atletico an historic league and cup double in 1996, but still didn't avoid the chop. In fact, Gil found time to sack Antic on three separate occasions, suggesting the Atletico president took some pleasure in dismissing coaches from their positions. Abramovich has some work to do if he's going to overtake the mad Spaniard.
Is there method to Roman Abramovich's madness? Leave a comment below and have your say...