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Paolo Di Canio’s early departure "extremely risky"

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By sacking manager Paolo Di Canio after such a short period of time, Sunderland AFC is making an extremely risky decision – comment from Professor Birgit Schyns, organisational behaviour expert at Durham University Business School.

Research* shows that changing football managers frequently is not positive for team performance (we all remember the shocking sacking of Martin O'Neill). Sunderland had seemed to put its trust in Di Canio, letting him buy and sell players to accomplish his vision. However, the resource they did not seem willing to grant him was time. His replacement, whomever that will be, will now have to work with players selected as someone else's ideas for the team.

On a more individual level, sackings like this hugely increase managers' stress across the league. Frequent, capricious firings have put all managers in the 'hot seat'. In the long run, it's possible that only the most desperate managers will be willing to take toxic roles at UK clubs, as opposed to the best. *Dr Mathew Hughes' 2010 paper is entitled: Short-term versus Long-term Impact of Managers: Evidence from the Football Industry

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