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Study highlights dramatic fall in British and Irish top-flight bosses

The number of British or Irish managers in charge at the start of each Premier League season has plummeted by 55 per cent over the last 20 years.

A Press Association Sport study has found that 90 per cent of top-flight bosses were British or Irish at the start of the 1997-98 season, but that figure had reduced to 35 per cent for the start of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 campaigns.

Back in August 1997 there were 11 English managers, four Scots, two from Northern Ireland and one from the Republic of Ireland out of the 20 clubs.

By August 2017 the picture had changed completely, with just four English bosses, two Welshmen and one Irishman - Brighton's Chris Hughton.

The study also found that:

:: The percentage of British and Irish managers dropped under 50 for the first time at the start of the 2015-16 season, when there were nine in charge at the 20 clubs.

:: The largest range of nationalities was at the start of the 2013-14 campaign, when managers from 13 different countries lined up. The smallest range was just four, back in 2002-03.

:: The largest number of English managers in the study period was 12, also in 2002-03.

:: There have been four seasons where English representation has been limited to four at the start of the season - 2017-18, 2016-17, 2012-13 and 2013-14.

:: The largest Scottish contingent was six, at the start of the 2011-12 season, when there were only five Englishmen.

:: The current campaign was the only one in the 20-year study period not to feature a single Scot, although that has now changed with David Moyes' appointment at West Ham.

:: The dominance of overseas managers at the big clubs in recent years means that the last British or Irish manager to secure a top-four finish was Northern Ireland's Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool in 2014, when the Reds were second.

:: The last English manager to claim a top-four place was Harry Redknapp, when he took Tottenham to fourth in 2012.

:: The last English manager to finish in the top three was Sir Bobby Robson, when his Newcastle side were third in 2003.

:: The last English manager to finish in the top six was Tim Sherwood, who took over from Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham in the 2013-14 season.

:: No English manager has yet won the Premier League, with Leeds boss Howard Wilkinson the last manager to win the 'old' First Division in 1992.

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