Manchester United just fired their manager after only ten months in the position. The fact that the club is having its worst year since 1975 is the reason. Period. David Moyes, who was tasked with the impossible chore of filling the shoes of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm of the team, came to an agreement with management to leave ManU during behind closed-doors meetings.
In a short statement yesterday, the club said Moyes had departed, adding that it “would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role”. Right, sure they would. Don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way out Dave.
While posting its worst home record since the mid-seventies and missing the Champions League for the first time since 1995, the team may miss all European competition, which hasn’t happened since 1990.
Evidently they play for real at ManU. I have a feeling that a North American coach in a similar position might be given a bit more time to right the ship. Getting fired ten months into a 36-month contract is pretty harsh, but if that’s what it takes to maintain a winning tradition, who am I to complain?
The National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens also have a tradition of winning, although you have to go back a number of years to find the glory days. As the team struggled over the past twenty years or so, coaches have come and gone, but I don’t think any of them lasted less than a year. There’s an old saying when a coach gets canned: you can’t fire the whole team, so somebody has to take the fall. I think David Moyes is probably feeling that pain today.
I hope Moyes held out for the full extent of his contract; a paycheck for the next 26 months should take some of the sting out of his dismissal, especially if he finds another position and double-dips.