Who Are The Longest Serving Managers In The Premier League?

Jurgen Klopp

On the 5th of December 2023, Sheffield United became the first Premier League side to sack their manager in the 2023/24 campaign. By recent standards, making it to winter without a managerial casualty represents remarkable restraint on behalf of the far-too-trigger-happy owners of the modern era. There is said to be pressure on Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper, whilst until a recent upturn in results even Man United’s Erik ten Hag must have been a little concerned.

Others are sure to be looking over their shoulders as well, such is the expected lifespan of a top-flight manager these days. In April 2023 the dismissals of Brendan Rodgers and Graham Potter saw the average tenure of an EPL manager drop to just one year and 241 days. That was the lowest ever and long gone, it seems, are the days, where a boss could expect to be given a couple of years to really have an impact at a club.

That said, there are one or two bosses in the English top flight who have been with their club for a decent length of time. Whilst many have been in their post for less than a year, our focus here is on the longest-serving managers in the Premier League. This comes, of course, with the caveat that this could change at any time!

Jurgen Klopp is the Longest-Serving Manager in the Premier League

Jurgen Klopp During Champions League Match
Credit: canno73 (bigstock)

German boss Klopp has been in charge at Liverpool for over eight years at the time of writing, having brought up that anniversary on the 8th of October 2023. That places him at the top of our list for Premier League bosses and, in fact, no manager in the top three tiers of English football has been in charge longer. What’s more, across the top four tiers, only one manager who isn’t the owner’s son has been at the helm longer than Klopp!

Simon Weaver, son of Harrogate owner Irving, leads the way in English football, having been at the North Yorkshire side for almost 15 years. Next is Accrington Stanley’s John Coleman (just over nine years), with Klopp next.

Things have not always gone smoothly for the Reds boss but he delivered the club their first Premier League title in 2019/20. He has also guided the Anfield side to the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Champions League, as well as reaching the final of the UEFA showpiece on a further two occasions.

They finished a disappointing – for them – third in 2020/21, when defending their title, and were even worse in 2022/23, trailing in fifth and missing out on the CL. However, they achieved over 90 points in three out of four seasons from 2018/19 to 2021/22 and those are incredible numbers. Klopp’s charisma has made him a big hit with Liverpool supporters too and it will be a huge blow to the club as and when he leaves the job, whenever that departure may come.

Pep Not Far Behind

Pep Guardiola
Credit: katatonia82 (bigstock)

The EPL manager to have been in his job the next longest is Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola. Pep has been at the Etihad since July 2016 and with around seven and a half years in the post is the fourth-longest-serving boss across England’s top four tiers. The fact that Klopp and Guardiola lead the way in terms of longevity says much about the level of success they have achieved – and also that is required to keep one’s job in English football!

Pep will forever be a legend at Man City and whilst there has been talk of him seeing the job as Brazil manager as a next step, he may well stay at City for years to come. A return to Barcelona at some stage is also a possibility, although his Catalan affiliation may mean the job as Spain’s head coach is not on his radar.

The former Barcelona player and manager has won it all with City after their Champions League success in 2022/23. He has currently won that competition three times as a manager, and will surely hope to match, and even better, Carlo Ancelotti’s record of four victories. It is hard to see City ever sacking him, so like Klopp, he may well get the luxury of deciding when he leaves the PL.

Thomas Frank Takes Bronze

Brentford boss Frank has been at the club since 2018 and recently celebrated his fifth anniversary in the job. The Dane has done a very good job at what seems from the outside to be a very well-run football club. It is no huge surprise that they have stuck with the former Danish youth teams coach, both because of how well he has performed and also because their owners seem to be far more sensible, savvy and football-aware than the average.

Frank guided the Bees into the PL via the Championship play-offs in 2021. They then finished 13th and ninth, and are currently 11th after 15 games in 2023/24. That they have achieved this whilst selling several top players and running the club in a financially sustainable way speaks volumes about both Frank and Brentford.

Other Managers in the Premier League

It may seem rather incredible but the next manager on our list is Mikel Arteta, who has been at Arsenal less than four years at the time of writing. That the manager with the fourth-most experience in their job has been at their club for such a short amount of time would have been unthinkable in years gone by, but that is the way it is.

Next up is David Moyes, who has been with West Ham for eight days fewer than Arteta has been with the Gunners, both hopeful of reaching their four-year milestone in December. That completes the top five PL managers and the next five can be seen below, further illustrating what a short-term post this sort of job increasingly is.

  • Steve Cooper – two years and 77 days with Forest
  • Eddie Howe – Newcastle boss for two years and 29 days
  • Erik ten Hag – has managed United for one year, 198 days
  • Vincent Kompany – Burnley boss for one year and 176 days
  • Roberto De Zerbi – with Brighton for one year, 80 days and counting

Information correct as of 8th December 2024