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The term sack race refers to predicting who the next football manager to lose his job will be. The most popular market for this is in the English Premier League but it can apply to any league – and even national sides.
Although the term usually applies to the next managerial casualty, the market continues throughout the football season (and sometimes into the close season) as so many managers end up losing their jobs these days.
Before the football season starts there will be a list of managers who are thought most likely to lose their jobs and the bookmakers work out the odds of such an occurrence accordingly.
Football club owners have started firing their managers much more quickly recently and it is therefore a very busy and popular market for bettors. Whereas a coach may have been given time to become acquainted with their position and new club in the past, the money within the game now means that coaches do not have that luxury anymore and are susceptible to being sacked if they do not instantly bring some kind of success to their club.
There are very few managers who have been at their clubs for longer than a few years so a slight dip in form can affect the sack race odds. Even managers at the bigger clubs are in danger of losing their job – especially if the team are not performing as the owners and fans believe they should.
The longest serving manager in European history was Guy Roux who managed French side Auxerre for 44 years. His association with the club actually spanned 53 years as he joined them as a player originally.