Search icon


03rd Jul 2017

What jobs would Premier League managers have if they weren’t in football? (Part 1)

Premier League managers would have interesting careers if they had chosen a different path

Wayne Farry

Premier League managers are a special breed of people.

Ambitious, determined, ruthless and single-minded, they have carved careers for themselves off the back of a conviction in their own beliefs, style of play and confidence.

But what if they weren’t Premier League managers and were instead just regular everyday people like you and I? It’s quite hard to imagine any of them doing frankly anything else, but I have done just that to discover exactly what professions they would work in if they had chosen a different path in life.

From hairdressers and bouncers to chefs and sofa salesmen, these successful coaches could have had different lives were it not for the game of football.

You can find parts two and three of this list here and here.

Eddie Howe, AFC Bournemouth – Former child star

Howe, a talented young manager who has taken Bournemouth from League Two to the Premier League with a brief detour to Burnley, would undoubtedly have been a child star in an alternate life.

With boyish good looks and rosy red cheeks, Howe could perhaps have appeared as a young student on Grange Hill or as some kind of ghost peasant boy in Knightmare.

Had he taken this route his career prospects would unfortunately have looked grim upon adulthood, with Butlins appearances having to suffice after a briefly successful but ultimately futile sojourn into music.

The story would not be a sad one however, and Howe would eventually make a comeback as the junior vicar who gets pulses racing on Emmerdale.

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal FC – Philosopher

Erudite, suave and thoughtful, Wenger would almost certainly have been drawn to a career in philosophy were it not for football.

Fresh from studying eastern philosophy in Japan for a number of years, Wenger would have wowed the world when he burst onto the previously stale philosophy scene as a smoking, bespectacled renegade in the mid-1990s.

Unfortunately, the passage of time and shifts in the cultural landscape wouldn’t be kind to his ideas of the world, with little to no practical application two decades later.

Though he would hit headlines with the occasional standout theory towards the end of his career, Wenger the philosopher would later be synonymous with little more than pity and derision.

His final professional role would be offering philosophical advice via a 99p-per-minute phone service.

Chris Hughton, Brighton and Hove Albion – Driving instructor

An accomplished manager, Hughton has an invaluable knack of getting the most from his players, something which would have aided him in his alternate universe career as a driving instructor.

Patient and articulate when putting across his tactics, Hughton’s no-frills approach to driving lessons would not always be the most attractive on the eye, but he would get results nonetheless.

After more than a decade of working his way up the career ladder for other driving schools, his class would eventually begin to shine after opening his very own. Despite his success however, he remains a humble man, and credits successful applicants – rather than himself – for his first-time pass rate of 73%.

Sean Dyche, Burnley – Regional manager of a car rental company

After working close to a decade as a car wash attendant, Dyche would eventually get his big break as junior salesman at local car rental company, McMalcom’s.

Known for his gruff and often unattractive sales technique, Dyche would nonetheless rise through the ranks at McMalcolm’s, progressing from junior salesman onto assistant regional manager and eventually regional manager of the company’s Kettering office in the space of just 25 years.

Dyche’s thinly-veiled Euroscepticism would be unlikely to prove a problem to local customers, though the occasional European tourist to Kettering may question why their salesman insists on them driving an MG.

Sadly for Dyche he would remain in the position of regional manager until his retirement, after being consistently overlooked in favour of more cultured, foreign salesmen.

Antonio Conte, Chelsea – Businessman turned actor

Drawn to the world of acting due to a combination of a compulsive desire to perform and a fiery personality, Conte’s initial calling would be assuming a senior role at his family’s espresso machine company.

After years of travelling around the country signing deals and sipping espressos, the Italian would grow tired of the corporate world at the age of 40 and turn to an acting career to fulfil his dreams.

Originally taking on minor roles in independent films, Conte would eventually land his big break as a heartbroken heartthrob who falls in love with a young music teacher following the death of his wife.

Though international success would elude the man known in his home country as Gli Occhi, Conte would continue to star in a host of domestic blockbusters alongside beautiful women 20 years his junior.