West Ham give managers more time than any other club in history of English football; but has it worked?

Upton Park

West Ham United are officially the most loyal club in the entire history of English football.

According to football data archive website Soccerbase, the Hammers come out on top when compared to any other club when it comes to the length of time they have given managers over the years.

Since becoming a professional outfit in 1898, West Ham have had just 17 managers take the helm at the Boleyn Ground.

Those bosses have enjoyed an average of 2,431 days in the job, as reported by Sky Sports, which is more than six-and-a-half years each.

It proves that the Hammers have more often that not given their managers the time to get things right at Upton Park.

Longest serving boss was at helm for 30 years

Remarkably Syd King, who led the club into the Football League, was in charge for 11,172 days between 1902 and 1932 while Charlie Paynter (6,482 days, 1932-1950), John Lyall (5,407 days, 1974-1989), Ron Greenwood (4,885 days, 1961-1974) and Ted Fenton (3,895 days, 1950-1961) also enjoyed prolonged periods in charge of the East London side.

Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool and Arsenal complete the top five English clubs who give their managers time.

Has it been a successful strategy?

While it is admirable that the Hammers have generally granted their managers a generous stay - a fact that will no doubt be of great comfort to current incumbent Slaven Bilic - has it done them any favours?

The Hammers are widely considered the biggest club never to have won the top flight title.

The closest they have come was in 1985/6 when they should have won the league but were pipped at the post by Liverpool and Everton to finish third.

John Lyall's side won 26 of their 42 games that season and finished with 84 points but lost out to the great Liverpool side which won the double that season.

Fifth is the highest the Hammers have finished in the Premier League era, under Harry Redknapp, while the Irons have three FA Cups to their name.

They shared the Charity Shield in 1964 and famously won the European Cup Winners Cup a year later.

An Intertoto Cup win in 1999 and two Championship Play-Off Final trophies are the only silverware the Hammers have lifted since 1980.

So fans could perhaps question why during so many barren years the club did not show more ambition to bring in a manager to really help push for major honours.

One achievement outstrips all the rest

Of course many West Ham fans would argue their biggest achievement outstrips all others, winning the World Cup for their country in 1966.

Captain Bobby Moore led the holy trinity of striker Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters to the Jules Rimet at Wembley, with Hurst and Peters getting all the goals in the 4-2 win over Germany.

It could be argued more managers may have led to more success but in this modern era of changing managers multiple times a season at some clubs, West Ham make a refreshing statement.

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