The 5 Longest Serving Managers in Premier League History

Premier League clubs seem to chop and change their managers at will these days but there have been those who've last over a decade and beyond at a single club.

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The lifespan of a Premier League manager tends to be fleeting, with clubs often opting to twist rather than stick in a bid to improve their fortunes, whether that be in the title race, European battle or the fight to avoid relegation.

Already this season we have seen two managers lose their jobs, with the latest being Steve Bruce’s departure from Newcastle, which came hot on the heels of Xisco Munoz leaving Watford.

However, not every Premier League boss is out of the door quicker than you can say ‘next manager odds’ and we have looked at the five longest and consecutive managerial reigns in the history of the division – which sorry Burnley fans, rules out Sean Dyche, who has been with the club since 2012 but spent some of that time in the Championship.

5. Harry Redknapp – West Ham 1994-2001 – 2,464 Days

Long before Harry Redknapp was known for jam roly-polys and being crowned ‘King of the Jungle’, he was also one of the most recognisable managers of his generation, taking charge of 1,391 matches during a career that spanned 34 years, seven clubs and a brief spell with the Jordan national team.

Redknapp’s most memorable stint arguably came at West Ham, the team where he also made his name as a player, as he spent seven largely successful seasons in the dugout at Upton Park.

The 74-year-old led the Hammers to fifth place during the 1998-99 campaign, still their highest ever finish in the Premier League, while the following season he guided them to Intertoto Cup glory.

Not only that, Redknapp was also responsible for signing West Ham greats like Paolo Di Canio, as well as nurturing the talents of future world stars such as Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole.

4. Joe Kinnear – Wimbledon 1992-99 – 2,698 Days

Joe Kinnear perhaps does not get the credit he deserves for his time at Wimbledon, where he embodied the ‘Crazy Gang’ spirit and regularly had the London club punching above their weight.

It is hard to imagine now, but Kinnear not only kept Wimbledon in the Premier League during his seven years at the helm, but he led them to regular top-half finishes during that time, including sixth place in 1993-94.

Perhaps what is even more telling, is the season after Kinnear left, Wimbledon were relegated from the Premier League and have never returned, with matters off the pitch (including a relocation to Milton Keynes and subsequent forming of AFC Wimbledon) instead dominating the headlines.

3. David Moyes – Everton 2002-2013 – 4,096 Days

David Moyes is currently enjoying a managerial renaissance at West Ham which has been drawing parallels to the success he had during an 11-year stint with Everton.

The Toffees had been perennial strugglers in the Premier League prior to Moyes’ arrival in the spring of 2002, but the Scot was able to turn the club into regular European contenders, most notably guiding them to a fourth-place finish in 2004-05.

Such was the consistency of Moyes’ work at Goodison Park, he was chosen as the man to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 2013, although that move ultimately did not work out.

Further struggles at the likes of Real Sociedad and Sunderland followed for Moyes, but he has successfully restored his reputation at West Ham, where he will be hoping to enjoy similar longevity to what he had at Everton.

2. Sir Alex Ferguson – Manchester United 1992-2013 – 7,640 Days

Arguably the greatest manager of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure at Manchester United began six years before the inception of the Premier League in 1986 and he is the longest-serving manager in the English league during the post-war era.

Ferguson won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, two Champions Leagues, as well as numerous other accolades during his time at Old Trafford.

United also never finished lower than third under Ferguson in the Premier League, and he led them to the title during his final season in charge before retiring in 2013.

Since the 79-year-old’s departure, four permanent managers have so far tried and failed to replicate his success, with United still yet to win the league in the post-Ferguson era.

1. Arsene Wenger – Arsenal 1996-2018 – 7.894 Days

No manager has spent more time in charge of one club in the Premier League era than Arsene Wenger, whose 22 years at Arsenal is likely never to be beaten.

The Frenchman brought a style and flair to English football that had never been seen before upon his arrival in 1996 and he enjoyed some titanic battles with Ferguson at Man United, with the two teams seemingly going toe-to-toe for every title between 1998-2004.

Arsenal won three titles during that time, doing the double in 1998 and 2002, before the ‘Invincibles’ team of the 2003-04 season when the entire league campaign unbeaten.

The second half of Wenger’s reign was perhaps less successful, although he still delivered three FA Cups in four seasons between 2014-2017, as well as ensuring the club finished in the top four of the Premier League for 20 years in a row.

Arsenal have not claimed a top-four finish since Wenger exited the club in 2018 and that does not look like changing anytime soon.

There Was Football Before the Premier League Era

Football of course existed before the arrival of the Premier League in 1992 and, as mentioned, in the post-war era Ferguson is the longest serving manager in the English top flight, as he was in charge of United for 26 years, six months and 13 days.

However, that is a mere brief spell in charge when compared to West Brom’s Fred Everiss, who managed the Baggies for 45 years, nine months and 30 days from 1902-48, while Aston Villa’s George Ramsay also lasted over 40 years with Villa until his departure in 1926.

A fountain of knowledge on football, Tom offers a particular in-depth expertise in EFL and European leagues.
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