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Tuesday, 8 October, 2002, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Where do broken managers go?
Peter Reid shouts and points at his players
How long will Reid have to wait for another job?

Peter Reid spent the first night after his sacking by Sunderland "having a few Scouse bevvies" in front of the television at home.

But, as he begins his first day of unemployment on Tuesday, what does the future hold?

The simple answer is another job in football.

Managers might have one of the most insecure jobs out there.

David O'Leary makes a point to his players
O'Leary was only sacked by Leeds in June
Even in these more cautious times, with club chairman less sack-happy than 12 months ago, the average job tenure is still nerve-janglingly short.

Half the Premiership's managers have been in their present position for less than two years.

But the safety net, should a boss tumble from the tightrope, provides a delightfully soft landing.

It doesn't matter much what your performance has been like. The majority of managers are reappointed elsewhere within a matter of months.

Look at the last few managers to part company with Premiership clubs.

David O'Leary was sacked by Leeds in June, after spending 100m over four years without managing to bring a single trophy to Elland Road.

Leeds got rid of him because they felt he was not doing a good enough job - but four months later, he is favourite to take over at Sunderland.

Has O'Leary improved as a manager in that time? Probably not. Does the Sunderland board seem to care? No.

John Gregory left Aston Villa on 24 January this year, after a four-year spell which had also failed to yield any honours.

He was unemployed for all of six days before being handed the reins at Derby.

Dave Bassett watches Leicester from the touchline
Bassett: Job after job
The list goes on - Gordon Strachan, sacked by Coventry in September 2001, and appointed Southampton manager just over a month later.

Then there are the serial reappointed - men like Dave Bassett, who has been relegated with Watford, Sheffield United, Nottingham Forest and Leicester.

None of that matters. Bassett is still in demand whenever a chairman smells crisis - as is Kevin Keegan, who has been shown to have the tactical naivety of a 10-year-old in his time with Newcastle, Fulham, England and Manchester City.

The chances are that Reid, a man who got Sunderland promoted twice and twice took them to seventh in the Premiership, will be offered another managerial position before the year is out.

Paying the bills

As the best-paid manager in the Premiership after Sir Alex Ferguson, Reid won't have to worry about paying the bills for a while.

If he fancies any extra spending money, he only has to accept any of the many media offers he will now receive.

Reid is liked and appreciated in the media because he is a straight-talker and an approachable guy.

Just as O'Leary has impressed as a pundit during his time out of management, so Reid will spend his Sunday afternoons and Monday nights in the television and radio studios.

Backroom staff Adrian Heath, Bobby Saxton, Tony Book and Mike Walsh, who also left Sunderland on Monday, will have a less visible presence in the game.

But managers like trustworthy men around them.

Just as John Gorman can relax whenever Glenn Hoddle gets a job, safe in the knowledge that he will soon get the call to join him, so Heath and co should rest easy.

When Reid does return to football, their phones will be ringing before the week is out.

 VOTE RESULTS
Who should replace the sacked Peter Reid?

George Graham
 14.68% 

David O'Leary
 59.40% 

Niall Quinn
 25.92% 

22193 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
Peter Reid leaves Sunderland after over seven years in charge

Race to take over

Reid pays price

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