Premier League chairmen were uncharacteristically forgiving in the final few weeks of last season.
Sackings are customary when the finish line comes into sight, but Nigel Pearson was the only manager who lost his job between lockdown and the end of the campaign.
Eddie Howe did depart Bournemouth following their relegation to the Championship, but even that was a mutual parting of the ways.
We can expect the ruthlessness to return sooner rather than later, though. The Premier League isn’t back to normal just yet – no fans will be present on this opening weekend – but the benefit of the doubt is unlikely to be extended so generously as we edge closer to a return to normality.
We’ve picked out seven Premier League managers who might be in danger of winning the sack race.
Steve Bruce is facing a tough crowd with the return of Premier League football after the latest takeover disappointment
(Image: 2020 Newcastle United)
The failed takeover of Newcastle United by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has restored the doom and gloom to St James’ Park.
Mike Ashley is as unpopular as ever despite his genuine attempt to sell the club this time around, a move that was thwarted by the Premier League due to piracy concerns related to broadcasting rights in the Middle East.
After his unpopular arrival last season, the pressure will be on for his side to improve on their 13th-place finish
(Image: MIKE EGERTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Bruce wasn’t a popular appointment last summer, but he did well to keep the Magpies clear of the bottom three all season.
Yet the squad hasn’t yet been significantly strengthened and there are concerns over where the goals will come from in 2020/21.
If Newcastle hit the ground trudging, Bruce will find himself under pressure. With Ashley keen to maximise the value of any potential sale, he simply cannot afford for the club to go…