Proof that Interim Managers are more successful than Permanent Managers

It’s not just business where Interim Managers can make a significant impact. The football industry is awash with Interim Managers, and if we take one club as an example (Chelsea) the performance of their Interim Managers has been pretty spectacular, and probably mirrors the stellar performance of professional interims working today, making careers out of turning things around.

If we look at the performance of Chelsea’s Interim Managers since the departure of Jose Mourinho in September 2007, it’s clear that they were all successful and left the club in better shape than when they joined (and with more trophies in the cabinet).

After Mourinho left, an experienced interim was appointed in the guise of Avram Grant who took Chelsea to their first ever Champions League Final, and they were a John Terry slip away from winning the Champions League; losing on penalties in a match they could have won. In the Premier League, Grant created a cohesive and organised team who pushed Manchester United all the way to the last game of the season, before finishing a close second.

Avram Grant then moved on and Chelsea appointed a Permanent Manager, ‘Big Phil’ Scolari a Brazilian World Cup winning Manager with a big reputation and supposed winning formula. Big Phil lasted 244 days before being sacked.

In came new Interim Manager Guus Hiddink, a wily and experienced Dutch manager. Hiddink’s impact was immediate, he got Chelsea organised and greatly improved their points tally in the Premier League and got Chelsea playing decent football. Success in Europe also looked likely, and if not for incompetent refereeing, they would have made the Champions league final for a second successive season under the guidance of an Interim Manager.

Chelsea then appointed Carlo Ancelotti as Permanent Manager who against the odds managed Chelsea to a league and FA cup double in his first season. He failed to follow up on this success in his second season though and was sacked just hours after the last game of the season. But with 1-year left on his contract he still walked away with a severance payment of £6 million from Chelsea.

Andre Villas-Boas was then appointed as Permanent Manager, but failed to make an impact and was sacked after 256 days, leaving with one of Mr Abramovich’s cheques in his pocket by way of severance payment. (Perhaps the reason Chelsea like Interim Managers so much is because they don’t have to pay them severance payments!).

Villas-Boas deputy Roberto Di Matteo was then appointed as Interim Manager and he magically won the FA Cup with Chelsea before taking them to glory in the Champions league final, winning the European Cup, the one trophy that Abramovich craved and had so far eluded him.

What happened next is a familiar story, Di Matteo was offered and accepted the Chelsea job on a Permanent basis but could not re-create the success he enjoyed as the interim boss, and was fired just 6 months after leading Chelsea to the greatest night in their history.

Enter Rafa Benitez, new Chelsea Interim Manager until the end of the season and looking to continue Chelsea’s great run with Interim Managers…..Will he be a success? We’ll know by May, but looking at Chelsea's previous Interim Managers, you wouldn't bet against him.

The reality is that every time Roman Abramovich brings in an Interim Manager it works. This is the fourth time (with Benitez) Abramovich has done this and the last time he did it, they won the European Cup!

What has happened at Chelsea demonstrates the almost immediate impact that Interim Managers can make on any business in any sector. Football clubs have latched on to the benefits of Interim Management and their increased popularity is a direct result of the success they have enjoyed.

If interims can succeed within the highly competitive world of Premier League and European football, then they can succeed in any sector and organisations need to recognise this.


Anna Hall said…
Interim Managers have to make as big an impact as their predecessor in a much shorter time. So I guess there's something to said about the Interim Management agencies that invest a lot of time making sure the people they are putting forward are the right fit for the role.
Abhay raichand said…
Interim managers play a great role in over all company’s growth. Within the short time they give the best results through their tactics which fits right to achieve the goals. ETA is a leading firm which gives consideration to the client companies to get the best results through interim managers.
David Toan said…
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David Toan said…
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