7 football managers who were as stubborn as Boris Johnson and refused to resign

Boris Johnson looks to be running out of time at 10 Downing Street following a flurry of resignations from the cabinet.

The Prime Minister has lost the backing of a number of key colleagues as the tide begins to turn against him, yet he's standing defiant and refusing to cave into the ever-increasing pressure for his resignation.

It's a tale we've seen before in football – the writing is on the wall but the stubborn leader simply won't quit. If Boris had any sense – which we've quite clearly learnt in the last three years he hasn't – then he'd see from the following seven managers that it's only going to end one way.

READ MORE: Six managers who lost the backing of their team as Boris Johnson scrapes Tory vote

Steve Bruce – Newcastle

The Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle last October finally brought an end to Steve Bruce's rather miserable reign in charge, as he left by mutual consent with a reported £8million pay out.

It was long overdue, with fans calling for his head long before that. Speaking back in March 2021, Bruce said: "That decision will always be taken out of my hands. I only want what's best for the club and over the last few months, in particular, I haven't been good enough to get the results that this club demands.

"I understand it totally, the way it is. I will do my utmost to make sure that the club stays in the Premier League. For all the other stuff, I can't influence that. But I'll never walk away from it, I'll never walk away from the challenge, that's for sure."

Louis van Gaal – Man Utd

After an eight-game winless run, Louis van Gaal was under extreme pressure at Manchester United in December 2015. At that time he told reporters: "For me, it is not an interesting subject because I cannot have any influence on that, I can only work with my players and you can see they are fighting for me."

It was claimed the following month that Van Gaal had changed his mind and did offer to resign, though he also denied that ever happening. He saw the season through but was sacked after winning the FA Cup.

Felix Magath – Fulham

German manager Felix Magath arrived at Fulham in February 2014 as a three-time Bundesliga winner, but his demanding style didn't work out in English football. He refused to quit after failing to save the Cottagers from Premier League relegation.

But the following Championship campaign began with four straight defeats, and Magath was sacked in October after 11 games without a win.

Despite that, he said: "I am disappointed and surprised, because I am sure that I would have stopped the downfall of the club with drastic changes in the squad to a young team, although the first results of the season have not shown this."

Magath made a return to management in March, taking over Hertha Berlin who, unlike with Fulham, he managed to keep up. He's since left the club, though.

Who's the worst manager your club have had? Let us know in the comments section.

Joe Kinnear – Newcastle

An expletive-laden rant at reporters mere days after his appointment as Magpies boss set the tone for Joe Kinnear's tenure at St James' Park.

It really was a comedy of errors in the 2008/09 season. Calling the Tyne-Wear derby "just another game", Charles N'zogbia "insomnia" and Yohan Cabaye "Yohan Kebab" were some of the many comments which landed him in hot water.

It wasn't a resignation which brought about his exit after a matter of months, but rather heart problems which forced him to step away.

Alex McLeish – Aston Villa

Joining from city rivals Birmingham in the summer of 2011 meant Alex McLeish started off on a bad foot at Aston Villa, with fans protesting his arrival outside the ground. And a relegation battle didn't help his cause.

Calls for his head grew louder and lounder, but McLeish declared in April 2012: "It has also not weakened my resolve to carry on and see this through. Absolutely not. I'm not someone who shirks a challenge and I'll keep going."

He did just that and Villa managed to avoid relegation by just two points. But the Scot's contract was terminated soon after.

Paul Ince – Blackburn

Taking charge of then-Premier League side Blackburn Rovers ahead of the 2008/09 season was a massive opportunity for Paul Ince, so you can understand why he was asking for more time after winning just three games in 17.

He was never going to resign, but a 3-0 defeat to Wigan in December was the final straw for the club's owners. The fans, who had chanted "You don't know what you're doing" and "We want Incey out", ultimately got their way.

Roy Hodgson – Liverpool

Managerial spells don't come much worse than Roy Hodgson's six months at Liverpool. It was so bad, in fact, that he publicly insisted he would not quit on two separate occasions.

"Resignation has never once entered my thoughts and never will. I'm here for the long haul," he said in October 2010, going on to reaffirm in December: "The last thing in my mind is walking away from a club like this or walking away from football."


But Hodgson did leave the the club by mutual consent a little over a week later – which could well be the fate awaiting PM Johnson.


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