Managers Countdown: How not to manage by Committee

Paul Hart 1

The Town Committee meet to decide whether to drop Pericard to the bench

My story of Swindon Town through ranking the 30 managerial appointments is only based on the permanent managers over the years, so no caretakers were included.

However, after the sacking of Maurice Lindley towards the end of the 1954/55 season the Board took a bit too much of an active interest in match selection. In the interim period the Board preferred to pick the team themselves. The Committee consisted of the three longest serving directors, plus one other director on a rota basis with input from the Club trainers. This was only meant to be temporary, however the selection of the team by Committee ended up lasting until October 1956, for a total of 61 league games over 3 seasons.

So whilst the committee selection isn’t included in the overall 30, given the time under which this operated, it seems fair to show where they would’ve been in the list.

No.24a | Committee Selection | Manager April 1955 to October 1956 | 199.1 Points

What an utterly disastrous decision it was for the Town Board to not appoint a new manager straightaway. What on earth prompted them to revert back to the turn of the century and the amateur ethos and go it alone without employing a manager? This isn’t cricket…

With no manager Town finished bottom of the Football League for the first and only time in 1955/56. Suffering the indignity of having to be re-elected, although the ‘old pals act’ ensured Town soundly beat Peterborough by 42 votes to 8.

Having an awful side, limited finances and a Board more interfering than even Berlusconi or Abramovich would dare, any limited interest from managers disappeared, so the Board were stuck.

The start of the following season saw no improvement. Town were 23rd with 4 wins and 9 defeats from 13 games, when finally Bert Head accepted perhaps the toughest task any Town manager has ever, or will face.

Given that failure in the league, you’re probably thinking why are the Committee so high? Well, it was their above average performance in the FA Cup that pumps them up the rankings. The 83.75 FA Cup points were secured as a result of a lucky run to the 4th Round in 1955/1956 season facing 3 non-league teams in Hereford, Peterborough and Worksop, eventually narrowly falling to Division One Charlton Athletic.

What is really interesting is if only league scores were counted, then the committee selection came 3rd worst, meaning Paul Hart was worse! That’s how crap Hart was, beaten by a bunch of novices sat around a table.

Good, Bad or Ugly? – Ugly!

  • Leagues: 3 seasons in Division Three South
  • FA Cup: 4 ties, best 4th Round in 1955/1956
  • League Cup: Not entered
  • Achievements: Bottom of the Football League for the only time in our history
League Pld Won Drn Lst For Agg League Pts P/G League Score FAC Score FLC Score
61 13 14 34 53 119 53 0.9 115.56 83.75 0
TOTAL SCORE: 199.1

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Click here for a full list of the managers in the countdown so far and their scores, including an explanation of how the scoring works.

Managers Countdown – Jimmy Quinn & Maurice Lindley

Paul Hart 1

No.28 | Jimmy Quinn | Manager Oct 1998 – May 2000 | Score 157.7

Quinn couldn’t translate his playing success into the dugout

Northern Irishman Quinn joined Town for a third time in 1998 as manager to replace Steve McMahon. Initially the move paid off for Chairman Rikki Hunt as Quinn led Town to the relative safety of 17th, 3 points above the drop.

In his second season the Mighty Quinn found his hands tied. The club had been poorly run for several years and hemorrhaging money, nearly bankrupt and soon to be falling into administration.Continue Reading