Football Features

12 managers with the worst win rates in the Premier League era

By Chris Smith

Published: 17:35, 3 April 2019

Not every manager has the desired impact when taking charge of a Premier League team.

For every Pep Guardiola there is a Remi Garde, for every Sir Alex Ferguson, a Frank de Boer. This season, Fulham have gone through two permanent managers and a caretaker but it could not help in their fight against relegation.

Slavisa Jokanovic and Claudio Ranieri were unable to make any real impact on the Cottagers in the Premier League with the former managing just one win from his 12 games in charge. But where does he rank amongst other woeful Premier League win percentage?

Well, luckily for him there have been many other managers who have struggled in the English top flight. Actually, some of them make his one win, two draws and nine defeats look a little less disastrous.

With all that in mind, we’ve taken a look at the managers with the worst win percentage in the Premier League era. Hands up if you remember these guys:

12. Remi Garde

Club: Aston Villa

Season: 2015/16

Win percentage: 10%

Aston Villa and Remi Garde were simply wrong for each other. Who knows? Maybe another time? Different players? Some funds available? All these factors could’ve helped the pair’s rocky relationship, but the Frenchman wasn’t the answer to Villa’s relegation scrap and despite now tarnishing his Premier League reputation, he could’ve actually proved to be a success at a less wounded club.

Garde finished his time at Villa Park with two wins under his belt against Crystal Palace and Norwich. He drew six and lost 12, and it’s doubtful that he will grace the shores of the English top flight again for some time.

11. Dave Bassett

Club: Nottingham Forest

Season: 1998/99

Win percentage: 10%

Equal to Garde’s dismal record is Dave Bassett’s at Nottingham Forest during the 1998-99 season. After one year in charge of Palace, the former midfielder took over at the City Ground in 1997 alongside fellow joint-manager Stuart Pearce, but they were unable to keep the side up.

The following campaign Bassett went solo, and took his side back to the top flight after just one season away. Back in the Premier League he once again struggled, and was sacked in January 1999 after just two wins, seven draws and 11 losses in 20 games.

Forest were once again relegated despite Ron Atkinson taking over with a large part of the campaign still to play.

10. Roy McFarland

Club: Bolton Wanderers

Season: 1995/96

Win percentage: 9.09%

Roy McFarland was in charge of Derby County for two years, and during his first season they reached the Division One play-off final, but lost 2-1 to Leicester City. The following season his side missed out on the play-offs completely, and McFarland – who spent a large portion of his playing career with the Rams – left to manage Bolton Wanderers, who had just been promoted to the Premier League.

Despite making a whole host of signings, he was unable to establish the Trotters in the top flight and was dismissed half-way through the season after just six months at the club. He left the side bottom of the Premier League, winning just two games, drawing four and losing 16.

9. Sammy Lee

Club: Bolton Wanderers

Season: 2007/08

Win percentage: 9.1%

Look away Bolton fans, it’s happening again. This time Sammy Lee was brought in to save the club’s fortunes, but he was unable to make an impact in 2007. The former Liverpool player joined the Trotters in 2005 as Sam Allardyce’s assistant, and after Big Sam left the club he was given the head coach role.

After only managing to win one match in 11, he was sacked five months later and has since stuck to assistant roles (of which he’s very good at).

8. Chris Hutchings

Club: Bradford City

Season: 2000/01

Win percentage: 8.3%

Up next we have Bradford’s Chris Hutchings, who joined the club as Chris Kamara and Paul Jewell’s assistant in 2000. During his time at the club, the Bantams were promoted to the Premier League, and he took over as full-time manager in the 2000-01 season. He started excellently, helping Bradford win the Intertoto Cup and beat Chelsea 2-0 during the side’s first home game of the season.

Unfortunately for him that was the best it ever got. The victory over the Blues would be his only Premier League win in 12 games, and he was sacked at the beginning of November.

7. Slavisa Jokanovic

Club: Fulham

Season: 2018/19

Win percentage: 8.3%

This season was supposed to be one of hope for a Fulham side that had impressed so many en-route to their Championship playoff win last season.

However, a summer of over-investment has completely disrupted the rhythm of the Cottagers and their relegation was sealed recently with a 4-1 defeat to Watford.

Slavisa Jokanovic was charge for their first 12 games this season after guiding them to the top flight but with just one win and a host of crippling defensive problems, was dismissed in November. Premature? We’ll never know.

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6. Billy Davies

Club: Derby County

Season: 2007/08

Win percentage: 7.1%

After a wonderful first season at Derby that saw Billy Davies manage the club to a play-off victory, the Rams would return to the Premier League after a five-year absence. But the club – who barely made any new transfers – largely struggled in the top flight, and despite being such a popular figure he left by mutual consent in November 2007.

After just one win in 14 games, Davies left the Rams at the foot of the Premier League table after falling out with the board. Derby would go on to be relegated with just 11 points at the end of the campaign.

5. Steve Wigley

Club: Southampton

Season: 2004/05

Win percentage: 7.1%

Steve Wigley was handed just 14 games before being sacked by Southampton in 2004, proving many critics right who’d stated that he wasn’t yet ready to step into a head coach role. Following Paul Sturrock’s departure at the very beginning of the 2004-05 season, the former Portsmouth winger was handed the top role but only managed one win in 14.

He was dismissed in December, with his only win coming against arch-rivals Portsmouth. He returned to coach Southampton’s youth players, but left the club entirely at the end of the season.

4. Mick McCarthy

Club: Sunderland

Season: 2005/06

Win percentage: 7.14%

Mick McCarthy endured a terrible Premier League run during his time at Sunderland. He won just two of his 28 games in charge and lost 22. After taking over from Howard Wilkinson in 2003, he struggled to keep the already failing side in the Premier League and they were relegated, but he was retained as manager.

He successfully managed the Black Cats to the play-offs the following year, but his side were beaten by Crystal Palace. In 2005 Sunderland returned to the Premier League after a very impressive Championship campaign saw them earn an impressive 94 points.

Unfortunately the English top flight is a different proposition all together, as a combination of poor performances and lack of resources led to his dismissal in March 2006.

3. Terry Connor

Club: Wolves

Season: 2011/12

Win percentage: 0%

Ok, now we’ve moved on to the winless managers. Terry Connor’s hapless time at Wolves was painful to watch, but proved that some coaches are better suited to an assistant role. Connor moved to Wolverhampton in 1999, and was handed the first-team role after Mick McCarthy’s dismissal in February 2012.

He didn’t win a single game of his 13 in charge and gained only four points from a possible 39. The former Brighton & Hove Albion forward is now back as an assistant alongside former colleague McCarthy at Ipswich Town.

2. Frank de Boer

Club: Crystal Palace

Season: 2017/18

Win percentage: 0%

A brief, unsuccessful spell with Inter may have followed it, but Frank de Boer’s success with Ajax was enough to prompt Crystal Palace to put him in the Selhurst Park dugout at the start of the 2017/18 season.

However, things could not have gone more wrong. The Dutchman fell to defeat in each of his four Premier League games with the Eagles without scoring a single goal.

His dismissal may have seemed premature, but Roy Hodgson has done a great job of stabilising Palace since, while De Boer has continued to struggle, failing to win a single league game so far with reigning MLS champions Atlanta United.

1. Paul Jewell

Club: Derby County

Season: 2007/08

Win percentage: 0%

Statistically the worst-ever Premier League manager is Paul Jewell. In 24 games as boss of Derby County during the 2007-08 season, he didn’t manage to win a single game and gained just five points, meaning the Rams were relegated with a final tally of 11 (the other six being won by Billy Davies prior to Jewell’s appointment).

It turns out signing Robbie Savage and Roy Carroll doesn’t keep you up, and the former Bradford City striker was sacked the following season with Derby sitting 18th in the Championship.