Secretaries of State / Football Managers Update

Back in January 2018 Matt Hancock was appointed Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport (whatever happened to him?) He was the 9th person to hold that post in 11 years. Dispairing at the casualness with which our potfolio is tossed around I wrote about how, in that period ,it was a more precarious role than being a manager of Aston Villa, Birmingham City or West Bromwich Albion.

With Michelle Donelan a fortnight into her incumbancy it seems high time to update you on how things stand in the job security stakes.

Well Matt Hancock lasted 6 months before being moved to health (oh yes, I remember now). Nicky Morgan lasted 7 months before leaving the government. Oliver Dowden did a year and a half before becoming Conservative Party Chairman. Nadine Dorries did a year before stepping away from the job and handing it on Liz Truss’s apointee. That’s 5 Secretaries of State in four years and nine months – not bad.

In the same period Aston Villa had 4 (or 3)* managers. Steve Bruce was in charge at the start, Steven Gerrard is there now, Dean Smith did three years and Kevin MaDonald just seven days*.

West Brom score 7 (or 6)*. They started with Alan Pardew before welcoming and bidding farewell to Darren Moore, James Shan*, Slaven Bilic, Sam Allardyce, Valerien Ismael. Now Steve Bruce is in the hot seat / cold bench / windswept touchline.

Birmingham City also score 7 (or 6)*. have been the most stable of the three local football clubs, burning through Steve Cotterill, Garry Monk, Joseph Clotet Ruiz, Steve Spooner*, Aitor Karanka and Lee Bowyer before alighting on John Eustace this July.

I’m pleased to report that football has fought back.

* Interim or Caretaker Managers confuse the issue slightly in football, do you count them or not? The closest politics has got to this must have been in the farcical days of Johnson’s government. I note that ‘our own’ Michelle Donelan was Secretary of State for education between 5th & 7th July, 2022 (Tuesday – Thursday).

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