Top 100 manager tenures to mark Arsene Wenger's 20th anniversary as Arsenal boss
By Adam Smith
Last Updated: 23/09/16 8:30am
Arsene Wenger's first press conference as Arsenal manager took place 20 years ago - but who has managed a European club for longer since 1960?
Wenger has the record active reign at a club, but four other managers have surpassed the Frenchman's two-decade-run as a manager in Europe's top five leagues, according to worldfootball.net data.
We have scanned the tenures of managers across 252 clubs from England's current top four tiers and the top two tiers in Spain, Germany, Italy and France.
The four front-runners
From managers appointed since 1960, Guy Roux holds the longest continuous managerial term in Europe, overseeing French club Auxerre for nearly 37 years between 1964 and 2000, having also managed the club for a period in 1961/62 and a third spell between 2001 and 2005.
Roux lifted the club from lower league origins to Ligue 1 champions in 1995/96 and managed the likes of Eric Cantona and Laurent Blanc.
Sir Alex Ferguson's 26 years as Manchester United boss is the second-longest in recent history. The Scotsman stepped down in 2013 after winning 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups and two Champions League titles.
In third place is a possibly unfamiliar name - Michel Le Milinaire. He was in charge of French Ligue 2 side Stade Laval for 24 years between 1968 and 1992, taking them through the tiers to France's top flight, while Dario Gradi coached Crewe Alexandra for more than 23 years until 2007.
In the list of 100 longest managerial tenures since 1960, only five managers remain with their respective club: Arsene Wenger (Arsenal), Paul Tisdale (Exeter), Frank Schmidt (FC Heidenheim), Torsten Lieberknecht (Eintracht Braunschweig) and Hervé Della Maggiore (FC Bourg-Péronnas).
Brian Clough's spell at Nottingham Forest is the sixth-longest term - he masterminded two European Cup titles, four League Cups, the league title and a European Super Cup during his 18 years at the helm.
Other stand-out tenures include Alan Curbishley (14 years and 10 months at Charlton), David Pleat (14 years at Luton), Sir Bobby Robson (13 years and six months at Ipswich), Joe Royle (12 years at Oldham) and David Moyes (11 years at Everton).
Liverpool legend Bob Paisley ranks 45th with his nine-year spell as Reds boss between 1974 and 1983, winning six league titles, three European Cups, three League Cups, a UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
George Graham managed Arsenal for nearly nine years between 1986 and 1995 - the 58th longest reign in our list. Following Graham's departure, Bruce Rioch took charge for one year before Wenger took control at Highbury.
Johan Cruyff's eight years at Barcelona remains a club record term and ranks 66th on our list, while Howard Wilkinson's eight years at Leeds registers at No 74.
England boss Sam Allardyce spent seven-and-a-half years at Bolton Wanderers (No 85), Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp spent more than seven years at FSV Mainz (No 93) and West Brom manager Tony Pulis enjoyed a seven-year stint at Stoke City (No 97).
Notable managers who were appointed in England pre-1960 include Ted Bates (18 years at Southampton), Bill Nicholson (16 years at Tottenham) and Bill Shankly (15 years at Liverpool). A Sky Sports study of all-time manager tenures in England last season revealed West Brom's Fred Everiss holds the the record term after managing the Baggies for 46 years between 1902 and 1948.
Across the five nations, 12 leagues, 252 clubs and 6,554 managers, the average manager tenure has lasted 552 days and the average club has employed 26 managers since 1960. Check out our top 100 list below...
*Only managers who oversaw campaigns in the leagues covered are included