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FootballNewsPremier League managers: oldest, youngest, most diverse in Europe’s ‘Big 5’ leagues

Premier League managers: oldest, youngest, most diverse in Europe’s ‘Big 5’ leagues


By Nick Harris

SJA Internet Sports Writer of the Year

6 November 2012

The Premier League is home to the oldest and the youngest football managers within Europe’s ‘Big 5’ football divisions, and England’s top division also has the most diverse range of nationalities in its managerial ranks, according to new analysis by Sportingintelligence.

At 70 years old, Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson is currently the oldest manager anywhere in the top divisions of England, France, Germany, Italy or Spain.

And at 35 years old, Tottenham’s Andre Villas-Boas is the youngest of the 98 managers in those divisions.

The graphic at the bottom of this article (click to enlarge) gives a detailed breakdown of the age and nationality of every current manager (at the time of writing) in the Premier League, Ligue 1, the Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga.

Of those 98 managers, 97 are white and one is black: Norwich City’s Chris Hughton.

England has the greatest diversity of nationalities, with its managers coming from 11 countries, led by Scotland and England (four each), then Italy, Northern Ireland and Wales (two each) and one each from six other nations.

At the other extreme, France’s Ligue 1 has managers from just two countries, France (19 of 20) and Italy (Carlo Ancelotti).

Italy has 18 Italian managers plus a Bosnian and a Czech. Germany has 15 managers (of 18) who are German, plus a Dutchman, a Finn and a Swiss.

Spain has managers from six different countries: Spain (12), Argentina (4) and four other countries.

Spain has the youngest average age of managers (48.15 years) followed by Germany (48.4) and Italy (49.6) with France having the oldest managers (51.5 years on average) followed by England (50.15).

There is a remarkable consistency of ages across these elite managers. The average age of all 98 managers is 49 and a half, and the median age of the 98 managers is also 49.

Managers aged 49 include Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho, Everton’s David Moyes, Lazio’s Vladimir Petkovic, Parma’s Roberto Donadoni, QPR’s Mark Hughes and West Brom’s Steve Clarke.

The most common nationality of manager among the 98 is Italian and French (21 managers each). Of the Italians, 18 work in Italy, two in England and one in France. Of the French, 19 work in France, one in England and one in Italy.

There are 15 German managers (all in Germany) and 13 Spanish managers (12 in Spain and Roberto Martinez in England).

There are only four English managers in the 98 (all in England), four Scottish managers (all in England) and four Argentinean managers (all in Spain).

The Premier League is home to four of the 10 oldest managers in Ferguson (70), Wenger (63), O’Neill (60) and Allardyce (58) and three of the 10 youngest managers in Villas-Boas (35), Rodgers (39) and Martinez (39).

The lack of English managers in the Premier League is an indictment of the production of home coaches, although it should be stressed that 13 of the Premier League’s managers come from the British Isles, and only seven are ‘real’ foreigners. The corresponding figures in Spain are 12 and eight.

It is also notable that by Uefa’s current coefficients (click here for details), Spain – the country with the most ‘real foreign’ managers in the ‘Big 5’ is the highest ranked nation, followed by England (next most imports), followed by Germany (next most),  Italy (next) and France (least).


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