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English football's longest serving managers

Thursday 15th June 2017
At times, the managerial sack race seems more like the managerial revolving door with managers losing their jobs left, right and centre for a variety of bizarre reasons. For example, Gary Rowett lost his job at Birmingham City because the new owners didn't really like him but Bob Bradley left Swansea because he couldn't turn his squad into winners.

Aside of these comers and go-ers, there are some managers who have enjoyed lengthy stints at their current clubs. Arsene Wenger is one we're all familiar with as the Frenchman currently leads the way at 20 years and more than 250 days, but who else makes the list of longest serving managers in English football?

Paul Tisdale - Exeter City

Five years at Team Bath was all Paul Tisdale needed before taking the reins at, then, Conference side Exeter City. 2006 was a good year for the club and, despite missing out on promotion, things were really turning around and Tisdale was integral to their successes.

Just shy of 11 years later and Tisdale looks to be going nowhere - he is the second longest-serving manager in England and rightly so.

Jim Bentley - Morecambe

Initially a player-manager, Bentley only ever played professionally for two clubs in his entire career showing that this man knows loyalty. He probably isn't the most recognisable name but he is the third longest serving manager in England (including his player/manager time) having been in place since May 2011.

He boasts a modest 31.3% win rate from 310 games as a manager and you can't fault that in League Two - one of the least predictable leagues in Europe - Wenger would've been sacked for that! He is also loved by the fans of the club, who collected funds to pay the managers recent fine.

Gareth Ainsworth - Wycombe Wanderers

One of the more curious names on this list, Gareth Ainsworth has been the manager of Wycombe Wanderers since November 2012 but is still, to this day, referred to as a player-manager. Ainsworth has never formally retired from professional football and remains a registered player at the club at the age of 44.

Ainsworth's most recent appearance came in the EFL Trophy against Northampton Town - he provided an assist for one of the goals in a 3-0 victory.

Neal Ardley - AFC Wimbledon

Ardley actually played for the original Wimbledon side between 1999 and 2002 but waited a decade before returning as manager of the spiritual successor, AFC Wimbledon. Strangely, Ardley managed the club in their first ever meeting with MK Dons but will be more proud of his most recent achievement.

After four years and 240 odd days, Ardley secured his first trophy as a manager - the League Two Play-Off Final.

Eddie Howe - AFC Bournemouth

Appointed just two days after Ardley at Wimbledon, Eddie Howe took on the manager's job at Bournemouth on 12th October 2012 - he is the Premier League's second longest-serving manager and is being rumoured to be the man Arsenal want to replace the man on the top spot.

Howe's injury blighted career never really took him far from Bournemouth and he's unlikely to leave again given the success he's enjoyed and awards he's won.

Sadly for him, he'd be much higher up this list if the club hadn't let him leave for a poor stint at Burnley.
Kristian Webb
A Manchester United fan who actually knows where Manchester is; I'm the chief writer for AccumulatorTips, ForzaSwansea and a contributor to WhatCulture's video game section. I'm a professional proofreader, content author and SEO Expert but that doesn't mean there won't be the odd grammatical error!

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