New research by a Midland university may give Steve Bruce the evidence he needs to convince Birmingham City supporters he is the man to steer the club away from the relegation zone, as Chris Osborne reports...
It's a turnover that would worry any industry.
More than 500 managers from the four top English divisions have been sacked since 1992, victims of trigger-happy chairman looking for quick fix solutions and in the process jeopardising not only the stability of their clubs but the game.
According to Dr Sue Bridgewater, from the University of Warwick's Business School, a new professionalism in the post of manager is already achieving results on the pitch and could help managers stay in their jobs longer.
The university's findings highlight the relationship between a club having a long term manager and the team achieving positive results.
Clubs that have employed fewest managers over the past 14 years, such as Manchester United and Charlton Athletic, have on average won eight per cent more of their games than clubs such as Crystal Palace and Southampton, which have shown more frequent changes in management.
The report also raises concerns over the effect manager instability can have on the economic status of a club. Clubs that sack managers more frequently stretch their financial resources through severage payments and wages.
Dr Bridgewater said: "The research obviously highlights issues affecting clubs as a whole. Instability is not just affecting clubs' performances but also has financial implications."
Warwick Business School offers a Certificate in Football Management for those seeking to add managerial insight to their considerable football skills. One of those who has completed the course is Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce.
Dr Bridgewater said those who took the more modern approach of training for a career in football management were more likely to succeed than those who go straight into a job.
"Almost half of first time managers are not coming back in to the game. Those managers who had prepared with courses tend to have more success," she said.
Number of Managers Per Club Since 1992/1993
Steve Bruce can take many positives from the results. During his short-lived tenure at Crystal Palace, the current Birmingham City boss acquired a win percentage of just over 60 per cent, the third best ratio behind Jose Mourinho (Chelsea) and Kevin Keegan (ex-Fulham) for a manager of any one club.
The only other manager to feature in this particular top 10 based on a one-club record was Ossie Ardiles whose stint at West Bromwich Albion was the ninth-best. The Argentine achieved a win ratio of almost 55 per cent, narrowly behind Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United record of 56.65 per cent.
When it comes to overall managerial performance since 1992, David O'Leary boasts the best win record of the local Premiership managers.
The Aston Villa boss has won 37.27 per cent of his games - including his period at Leeds United - Bruce, who counts Huddersfield and Palace on his CV, has a win ratio of 33.15 per cent while Albion boss Bryan Robson has won 24.53 per cent of the games he has managed at the Baggies, Middlesbrough and Bradford.
However Robson spent only #12.08 million on wages last year compared with O'Leary's #33.76 million. Of the local clubs, Coventry City's managerial door has revolved the most.
According to the Warwick research, they have employed ten managers over the past 14 years, while Bruce - who took over his post when Trevor Francis was sacked in 2001 - is only Birmingham's fourth manager since 1992.
During that period, Villa have employed only one more manager than their Second City rivals. Despite his label of 'Deadly Doug', Villa chairman Doug Ellis has sacked only one manager, Ron Atkinson, in the last 14 years - although a host of others have left of their own accord.