Longest Serving PL Managers

  • Now Premier League managers don’t stay long at the same club
  • Alan Curbishley was at Charlton Athletic for 15 years
  • Alex Ferguson spent 26 years at MU, Arsene Wenger 22 years at Arsenal
longest serving PL managers

Being a Premier League manager is a tough job, which also means that even the best managers can get fired easily. A special trust is needed from club owners to have the same manager for several years. But great performances, title wins and European victories can secure the job like it happened with the longest serving PL managers. 

Some managers can become real legends at a club like Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United or Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. Even though their teams also suffered big defeats and had weaker periods, they could still convince everyone that they are the best for the job. But not only top clubs could have the same manager for longer periods, but smaller ones too. Like at Burnley where Sean Dyche has been the boss since 2012. He is one of the current longest serving PL managers. But his predecessors have spent even longer periods at one club, let’s see them now. The list is based on the number of Premier League games the managers have overseen.

7. Rafael Benitez is in the longest serving PL managers

Though Rafael Benitez has been working at several clubs from Valencia to Napoli, he stayed the longest at Liverpool.  The Spanish manager joined the Reds in 2004 after winning La Liga with Valencia. And in his first season he already won the Champions League with the club in a very memorable game.  His early success was followed with winning the FA Cup title and finishing third in the Premier League. But following confrontations with the new American club owners he and the team struggled until the 2008-09 season. Then the team finished as a runner-up in the league. Benitez left though in the following year after a poor performance of the team. Now Liverpool are a favorite again to win the PL title by online sportsbooks in the UK.

6. Alan Curbishley, who led Charlton to the Premier League

The former English player, Alan Curbishley started his managerial career at Charlton Athletic and stayed there for 15 years. He led the team to the Premier League after winning the play-off in a thrilling game against Sunderland in 1998. Even though the team could only stay for one season in the top tier, they won promotion again in 2000. After that Charlton had a longer spell at the top tier. They even fought for a Champions League place in the 2003-04 season. At the end the team finished in 7th place, which was still its best result since the 1950s. In spite of his successes Curbishley left the club in 2006 with the fans giving him a standing ovation on his last game.

5. Harry Redknapp took West Ham to UEFA competitions

Harry Redknapp is also in the longest serving PL managers as he worked at West Ham United between 1994 and 2001. He achieved some great successes with the club. Like finishing 5th in the 1999 PL season which was the second-best result of the club. It also meant playing in the UEFA Intertoto Cup which they won in the next year. Redknapp’s importance wasn’t only winning titles though but also introducing several young players from the club’s academy. Including Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard. They all became great stars of English football, while Redknapp won the FA Cup with Portsmouth later. Online gambling sites in the UK offer the smallest odds, 4.33 for Manchester City’s FA Cup victory this season.

longest serving PL managers
Harry Redknapp – James Boyes, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4. Joe Kinnear led Wimbledon to the Premier League

There was a time when Wimbledon FC played in the top league. What’s more, they even won the FA Cup in 1988. Joe Kinnear was appointed as the manager of the team in 1992 and secured a place for the team in the new Premier League. Where the team finished in the impressive 6th place in the 1993-94 season ahead of Liverpool, Aston Villa and Tottenham. Kinnear also guided his team to the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and League Cup in 1997, losing both games. Later though the team’s performance declined. And after suffering a heart-attack in 1999, Kinnear resigned from his post. Wimbledon was relegated in the next season and couldn’t return since.

3. David Moyes made Everton a strong team

We find the first famous Scottish manager, David Moyes in third place in our list of the longest serving PL managers. He spent 11 years at Everton between 2002 and 2013 and achieved some nice results with the club. Like finishing 4th in the 2004-05 season or reaching the final of the 2008-09 FA Cup. Under his management the team became a solid team finishing behind the top clubs every season. In 2012 Moyes celebrated his 400th Premier League game and also his 150th victory. He left the club in 2013 and joined Manchester United which proved to be an unlucky decision from both sides. Of course, Moyes had a very difficult job to take over from the legend of the club, who comes next in the list.

longest serving PL managers
David Moyes – Jason Gulledge from Dallas, TX, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Sir Alex Ferguson who spent the most years at a PL club

Sir Alex Ferguson took over Manchester United in 1986 and stayed at the club for an amazing 26 years, until 2013. One of the best managers of all time, he led the team to 13 Premier League, 5 FA Cup and 2 Champions League titles. He made United one of the strongest clubs in the world and managed numerous stars in his career from David Beckham to Cristiano Ronaldo. He won the Premier League Manager of the Season award 11 times. Also the UEFA Manager of the Year award in 1998-99. He was knighted in 1999 for his services to the game. Since his retirement no one could really replace him at the club. The team currently stands only in 14th place in the Premier League with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job on the line.

1. Arsene Wenger managed the most PL games

Only one person managed more games at a Premier League club than Ferguson. His biggest rival, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman was the top man at the Gunners between 1996 and 2018. He managed 828 Premier League games during this time becoming the longest serving PL managers.  There were ups and downs in his career, with great victories and shameful defeats. He led the club to a Premier League and FA Cup win only in his second season. Which were followed by two more PL and 6 more FA Cup titles. Arsenal also reached the final of the 2016 Champions League, but lost there against FC Barcelona. Wenger made huge contributions to English football and made Arsenal one of the most famous clubs. Even though his last years were not as successful as before.

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