6 football managers who were sacked at Christmas – including Jose Mourinho’s dad

The English football schedule during the Christmas period is arguably the busiest in Europe at any point in the season, with matches coming thick and fast.

A string of defeats close to together can lead to panic behind the scenes at clubs, with time running out to save the season for those struggling in the league.

As a result, some managers often suffer the tragedy of being sacked at Christmas, including Jose Mourinho's dad during his time at Rio Ave during the 1980s.

So, here are six football bosses who were relieved of their managerial duties during the festive period.

Felix Mourinho

Mourinho himself has twice been sacked within a week of Christmas, during his second Chelsea spell and at Manchester United.

However, his dad Felix was sacked on Christmas Day itself in 1984 and relieved of his duties as Rio Ave manager.

Mourinho recalled that Christmas in a 2004 interview, explaining: “He was manager, the results had not been good, he lost a game on December 22 or 23.

“On Christmas Day, the telephone rang and he was sacked in the middle of our lunch. So I know all about the ups and downs of football, I know that one day I will be sacked.”

Les Reed

Not only is Les Reed's 41-day stint as Charlton Athletic boss one of the shortest in Premier League history, it also ended on the brink of Christmas.

Having been promoted from assistant manager to take over from Iain Dowie in November, Reed won just one of his eight matches in charge.

With the Addicks deep in relegation trouble, Reed was sacked on Christmas eve and subsequently nicknamed 'Santa Clueless'.

Bob Bradley

Having become the first American to manage in the Premier League, Bob Bradley did not last long in the Swansea City hot seat.

After being appointed in October 2016, Bradley lost seven of his 11 matches in charge at the Liberty Stadium as the Swans dropped into the relegation zone.

Despite wins over Crystal Palace and Sunderland, a 4-1 Boxing Day defeat to West Ham United proved the final straw and Bradley was dismissed the following day.

Carlos Carvalhal

Another former Swansea manager, Carlos Carvalhal arrived at the club shortly after being sacked on December 23 by Sheffield Wednesday back in 2017.

Despite taking the Owls into the play-offs in each of the previous two seasons, Wednesday were down in 15th place in the Championship when Carvalhal was sacked.

His final match in charge ended in defeat to Middlesbrough, with opposite number Garry Monk also sacked the same day.

Carvalhal was unemployed for just four days, though, before taking over from Paul Clement at Swansea.

Malky Mackay

Having taken Cardiff City into the Premier League for the first time, things began to unravel for Malky Mackay come December 2013.

Mackay clashed with owner Vincent Tan over signings, the transfer budget, results and his playing style.

This led to Tan issuing Mackay with an ultimatum, telling him either to resign or he would face the sack.

Mackay refused to walkaway and was sacked on December 27 following a Boxing Day defeat to Southampton.

Neil Warnock

Neil Warnock struggled during his second spell in charge of Crystal Palace, winning just one of his 12 league matches in charge back in 2014.

He had taken over from caretaker boss Keith Millen after Tony Pulis resigned on the eve of the new season.

A Boxing Day defeat to Southampton left Palace third bottom of the table and mired in a relegation battle, with Warnock sacked a day later.

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