Ronald Koeman’s sacking late on Wednesday night as Barcelona manager was not surprising, the manner in which it was carried out though did raise a few eyebrows.
Reports claim that following a surprise 1-0 defeat at Rayo Vallecano, president Joan Laporta finally pulled the trigger on the Dutchman’s reign at the Nou Camp during a flight back from LaLiga clash.
But how does it compare to previous bizarre sackings? Sportsmail looks back at managers who learned of their fate during a game, after winning a league title and even on television!
Ronald Koeman was sacked by Barcelona on Wednesday following defeat at Rayo Vallecano
But the Dutchman’s dismissal was reportedly made during the flight back from the game
Martin Jol – Tottenham Hotspur (2007)
As much as Jol was loved by Tottenham supporters having dragged the club out of years of mid-table mediocrity and into Europe, it had appeared inevitable that his three years at the club were coming to an end.
A poor start to the 2007-08 season and unescapable talks of the Dutchman potentially being replaced by Juande Ramos were signs of the end times.
But very few expected news of it would filter through during a Tottenham game. Spurs were in action at White Hart Lane against Getafe in the UEFA Cup, when during half-time news started to travel around the ground that Jol had been sacked.
In a bizarre turn of events, much of the second half of Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat were of fans singing Jol’s name in support, with the outgoing Spurs boss doing his best to fight back the tears on the touchline.
Jol has since claimed on the WeAreTottenhamTV podcast that he only found out about the news immediately at full-time from his nephew who was with him at the game, having previously ‘suspected something’ during the match.
Martin Jol appears to fight back his emotions during his final game in charge of Tottenham Hotspur in a UEFA Cup clash at home to Getafe in 2007
Jol’s future was already under speculation, to the dismay of much of the Spurs fans who earlier in the 2007-08 season unveiled a banner reading ‘Levy Jol Alone’ in reference to chairman Daniel Levy’s interest in appointing Juande Ramos as a replacement
Gustavo Poyet – Brighton & Hove Albion (2013)
Brighton have impressively established themselves as a Premier League side in the last four years but playing in the top flight once again was only a pipe dream when Poyet took over in 2009.
Back then the Seagulls were grounded in the mid-table of League One before the Uruguayan did an excellent job of taking them up into the Championship and then soon into the play-offs.
Defeat by bitter rivals Crystal Palace though in the semi-finals were his last games in charge, before he was suspended days later following disagreements with the club over the direction the team was heading in. Ironically on the same day he had been nominated for the Championship manager of the month award.
Although a sacking was inevitable at this point, he only found out of his dismissal a month later while acting as a pundit for a Confederations Cup clash on Match of the Day when he was handed a Brighton press statement by a member of the BBC’s production staff.
Gus Poyet celebrates winning the League One title along with Brighton chairman Tony Bloom
Days after losing a Championship play-off semi-final he was suspended before being sacked
Leroy Rosenior – Torquay United (2007)
It’s fair to say poor Rosenior wasn’t given much of a chance to turn around Torquay’s fortunes in a second spell at the club.
In fact in what is probably the shortest managerial reign of all time, he was sacked just 10 minutes after taking over.
Rosenior was in the right place, just at the very worst possible time. Torquay had just been relegated from League Two under the ownership of Mike Bateson and Rosenior was stunned to learn that in almost the seconds after rejoining the club, Bateson had sold his 51 per cent share to a new consortium.
Rosenior said: ‘So I did the press conference, I did all the interviews, and within 10 minutes, Mike called me to let me know he had actually sold the club.
‘I’ve been told that a new consortium is coming in, they’re bringing their own people and I won’t have anything to do with it.’
Leroy Rosenior, pictured during his previous spell at Torquay, was axed just 10 minutes after taking charge of the club following their relegation from the Football League
Carlo Ancelotti – Chelsea (2011)
Carlo Ancelotti may have resigned as Everton manager this summer to head back to Real Madrid but one of his previous roles also ended at Goodison Park.
In fact to be more specific, the players’ tunnel at the Merseyside outfit after he was axed as Chelsea boss immediately after the final whistle following Chelsea’s final day of the season 1-0 loss.
The axe fell on the Italian following a disappointing season in charge where they failed to win a trophy 12 months on from winning the double.
A troubled campaign also saw him fail to get the best out of £50million mid-season signing Fernando Torres, although Ancelotti has tried to took on the funny side in recent times, reflecting on the day he was dismissed when he joined Everton in 2019.
‘I was sacked here by Chelsea in the corridor down there,’ he said. ‘I think you have to put a little plaque there now: Here was sacked Carlo…’
Carlo Ancelotti enjoyed an excellent first year at Chelsea, helping them win the double
But 12 months on he was sacked in the tunnel of Goodison Park after a defeat at Everton
Vicente del Bosque – Real Madrid (2003)
Even by Real Madrid standards, this is a classic case of ‘what were they thinking?!’
Vicente del Bosque enjoyed a highly successful tenure at Madrid in his four seasons at the club.
He led them to alternative years of success in winning both the Champions League and LaLiga twice, establishing his side as one of the best in the world while also playing attractive football with star names including Brazil legend Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Raul.
With the club having also announced the stunning signing of David Beckham from Manchester United for the 2003-04 season, Del Bosque’s side looked set to be an unstoppable force.
But just two days after clinching LaLiga title, Del Bosque was brutally sacked. A victim of the backstage politics of the club led by Florentino Perez and divided over who should lead the ‘Galacticos’ era following Beckham’s arriva.
Bizarrely there was no plan in place and after settling for United assistant Carlos Queiroz to take over, Madrid of course ended the season without major success.
In fact they didn’t win LaLiga again until 2007 under Fabio Capello, with the former England boss of course thanked for the achievement by also being sacked. Tough crowd at the Bernabeu.
Vicente del Bosque’s was brutally sacked by Real Madrid following a trophy laden period
Del Bosque is thrown in the air in congratulatory style by his Real Madrid players after winning the Champions League in 2000 – the first of two he would pick up with the club
Jose Mourinho – Tottenham Hotspur (2021)
Coming full circle and it’s back to Tottenham again, and once more Daniel Levy’s ‘fire’ button comes at the most inconvenient time.
Unlike Jol, Mourinho was not popular with the majority of fans who were unhappy at his side’s defensive approach to games not backed up by results as they slipped away from Champions League contention and into a mid-table scrap.
Mourinho though had guided Spurs into the Carabao Cup final and had a good record against upcoming opponents Manchester City, having already defeated them twice during his time at the north London club.
While calls for him to be sacked from fans had started long before April, the decision for Levy to pull the trigger just less than a week before the cup final was astounding – especially as this time there was no back-up in place.
Former midfielder Ryan Mason took over as interim but he was unable to prevent Spurs from losing 1-0 at Wembley without so much of an attack to speak of.
Incredibly this wasn’t the first time Levy had tried the ‘new manager bounce’ ploy having also sacked George Graham days before a 2001 FA Cup semi-final against bitter rivals Arsenal. Even with a new manager in Glenn Hoddle, they lost that too.
A rocky spell in charge of Tottenham saw Jose Mourinho fired just days before a Carabao Cup final with Manchester City at Wembley
Under interim manager Ryan Mason, an Spurs still went on to lose the final 1-0