Britain’s greatest managers
Ferguson is top of the charts.
In pure trophy terms, Sir Alex Ferguson is unmatched as Britain’s best
manager, with 49 trophies – including 13 Premier League titles.
Yet debate is never quite so simple. There are others who have a claim on being Britain’s best.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at their records.
HERBERT CHAPMAN (Northampton, Leeds City, Huddersfield, Arsenal)
Pioneered a tactical approach to the game at non-league Northampton and
impressed at Leeds until an irregular payments scandal broke that got him
banned. Returning at Huddersfield, he won the FA Cup, and then back-to-back
league titles before joining Arsenal, where he also won the FA Cup and two more championships, before dying suddenly of pneumonia, aged just 55, in 1934. His Arsenal team went on to win three successive championships.
SIR MATT BUSBY (Manchester United, Great Britain, Scotland).
The man whose achievements Ferguson was asked to emulate. When Busby joined United, they didn’t even have a ground to play on after Old Trafford had been bombed. It didn’t prevent him winning the FA Cup in 1948 and, after a few near misses, the league title for the first time in 1956, with a team of young players affectionately known as ‘The Busby Babes’. Ignoring Football League orders, Busby also took United into Europe, although his dreams were shattered in Munich in 1958 when eight of his players were amongst the 23 passengers who died in a plane crash. Within 10 years, Busby had rebuilt his team and they became the first English team to win the European Cup in 1968.
JOCK STEIN (Dunfermline, Hibernian, Celtic, Leeds, Scotland).
The man Ferguson reveres more than any other. Stein had already made a big
impression as head of Celtic’s reserve team and won the Scottish Cup in his
first full season as a senior manager, with Dunfermline. After a brief stint at
Hibs, Stein returned to Celtic, where he enjoyed unparalleled success. He lifted
nine titles in a row, and five domestic Doubles. In 1967, Celtic became the
first British team to win the European Cup, with a group of players all born
within 30 miles of Glasgow. Stein suffered a heart attack and died during
Scotland’s World Cup qualifier in Wales in 1985.
BILL SHANKLY (Carlisle, Grimsby, Workington, Huddersfield, Liverpool)
After developing an impressive reputation in the lower leagues, Shankly arrived at Anfield on December 14, 1959 after Liverpool had been in the Second Division for five years, and just been defeated by non-league Worcester City in the 1958-59 FA Cup. When he retired in 1974, he had won three league titles, two FA Cups and brought the Reds their first European trophy, the UEFA Cup, in 1973. Although he didn’t win the European Cup Shankly is credited with laying the foundations for what was to follow.
DON REVIE (Leeds, England, UAE, Al Nassr, Al Ahly)
Greatest achievement in his first couple of years at Elland Road was abandoning the traditional blue and yellow kit in favour of the now famous all white. But once the Second Division title had been secured, Revie set Leeds on the path to greatness. Supplementing a combative, youthful squad with the likes of Johnny Giles, Leeds contested every major honour for a decade. They only won two titles and a single FA Cup, but they were also runners-up on an incredible eight occasions, as they were in the 1973 European Cup Winners’ Cup and 1975 European Cup. Leeds also won the Fairs Cup twice. Quit in 1974 to manage England, then left for UAE in controversial circumstances.
BRIAN CLOUGH (Hartlepool, Derby, Brighton, Leeds, Nottingham Forest)
Brilliant, but hugely controversial figure. His achievement of winning the
league title with two provincial clubs will probably never be matched, whilst it
is even less likely a club the size of Nottingham Forest would ever win
back-to-back European Cups. Regarded himself as the greatest manager England never had, with the Football Association backing off due to his record of confrontation. Lasted 44 days at Leeds after succeeding long-standing rival Don Revie. Won League Cup four times but never managed to lift the FA Cup.
BOB PAISLEY (Liverpool)
Stepped up from the Boot Room to replace Shankly and produced a period of
sustained success unmatched in the English game at the time. In his nine seasons in charge, Paisley secured six league titles. In addition, he won the League Cup on three occasions, the Charity Shield on six, and the UEFA Cup. Most significantly, he led Liverpool to three European Cup triumphs in the space of five years. Paisley remains the only manager to have won the game’s most prestigious club honour on three occasions.