Steven Gerrard has been confirmed as Aston Villa’s new manager. But how long do Aston Villa managers generally last?

Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy


Aston Villa have today announced that Liverpool legend and Scottish Premier League winner Steven Gerrard would take over the reigns at the club following the sacking of Dean Smith last Sunday.

Gerrard, who will be taking up his second role in senior management in taking on Aston Villa’s plight to achieve a top ten finish, has signed on a three and a half year deal.

The three and a half year deal is interesting – not only because it takes us to mid-2024 where many presume the boss will leave to lead his boyhood club Liverpool (if they’ve not paid a compensation fee for him before then). It’s also interesting because that’s relatively close to how long Aston Villa managers usually last at the helm.

According to betting analysts OLBG, Aston Villa rank 15th in the UK as ‘Best UK Football Clubs To Manage’ based on the average length of time that their managers remain in the job, while they sit 8th in the Premier League.

Loyalty is hard to come by these days, especially in some of the toughest leagues in European football – and long gone are the days of Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson. Most managers either want a new challenge, or are sacked before they’re able to make the decision themselves.

On average, an Aston Villa manager lasts three years and two months in the job, a far sight from the five years and over that some of the most decorated clubs in the UK have had. Celtic, Liverpool, Manchester United, and interestingly Gerrard’s former club Rangers, all enjoy the exploits of their personable managers for the longest time in British football.

Aston Villa seem to like to give their managers some time to find their feet, more often than not, it seems, unlike the likes of Crystal Palace, who on average afford their managers less than two years at the helm.

If the Premier League table was based on the average length of time a manager had been in charge, well, Aston Villa would be in the running for a spot in Europe.

RankTeamAverage Time in the Job
1Liverpool5 years & 7 months
2Manchester United5 years & 4 months
3West Ham5 years
4Arsenal4 years & 8 months
5Everton4 years
6Wolves3 years & 7 months
7Burnley3 years & 2 months
8Aston Villa3 years & 2 months
9Manchester City3 years & 1 month
10Newcastle United2 years & 11 months
11Tottenham Hotspur2 years & 10 months
12Chelsea2 years & 9 months
13Southampton2 years & 8 months
14Brighton2 years & 7 months
15Leeds2 years & 6 months
16Brentford2 years & 6 months
17Norwich City2 years & 3 months
18Watford2 years & 2 months
19Leicester City2 years & 1 month
20Crystal Palace1 year & 9 months

Over the club’s entire history, Aston Villa have enjoyed the philosophies of 41 managers.

Some managers provided joy and contributed to the club’s decorated history, while others struggled to have an impact.

Across the 41 managers, there’s some great managerial names, and some fond memories to be had while browsing them, but none of Aston Villa’s former leaders have ever come close to George Ramsay in terms of staying power – with 41 years and 10 months in the job.

ManagerDays in the jobYears in the job
George Ramsay1527741 years & 10 months
W J Smith28607 years & 10 months
Ron Saunders28077 years & 8 months
Joe Mercer20695 years & 8 months
Eric Houghton19165 years & 3 months
Alex Massie18565 years & 10 months
Vic Crowe15864 years & 4 months
Martin O’Neill14654 years & 1 month
John Gregory14293 years & 11 months
Ron Atkinson12223 years & 4 months
Brian Little11873 years & 3 months
David O’Leary11563 years & 2 months
Graham Taylor11533 years & 2 months
Dean Smith11243 years & 10 months
Dick Taylor10642 years & 11 months
Jimmy Hogan10342 years & 10 months
George Martin10042 years & 9 months
Paul Lambert9822 years & 8 months
Tony Barton8602 years & 4 months
Graham Turner7902 years & 2 months
Steve Bruce7211 year & 12 months
Tommy Cummings5181 year & 5 months
Jimmy McMullan5171 year & 5 months
Graham Taylor4631 year & 3 months
Tommy Docherty3961 year & 10 months
Alex McLeish33311 months
Jozef Venglos31010 months
Gerard Houllier2538 months
Tim Sherwood2508 months
Billy McNeill2287 months
Remi Garde1485 months
Roberto Di Matteo1234 months
Eric Black642 months
Kevin MacDonald431 month
Roy Aitken1616 days
John Deehan1212 days
Stuart Gray1212 days
Kevin MacDonald99 days
Kevin MacDonald77 days
Scott Marshall66 days
Andy Marshall66 days

And if that wasn’t impressive enough, there’s another feather in Ramsay’s cap.

The long-standing former boss ranks third for the longest time a manager has lead a club at the top level, falling short to only Fred Everiss and Willie Maley.

Not a bad feat for a one-club man!

It remains to be seen if Gerrard will improve this average or make it worse, but fans are hoping that it’ll be the former.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.