5 Premier League managers who never played professional football

Updated: 

Paul Clement's appointment as Swansea boss has given the Premier League another manager who never played the game professionally.

Here, we take a look at five other figures who also defied the lack of a professional playing career to manage in the top flight of English football.

Andre Villas-Boas

(Chelsea 2011-2012, Tottenham 2012-2013)

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers greets Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas - (Stephen Pond/PA)
(Stephen Pond/PA)

The Portuguese owes his coaching career to Bobby Robson. Starting as a teenager, he obtained his coaching qualifications while working under Robson at Porto.

He served as an assistant to Jose Mourinho before taking the top job at Liga side Academica aged just 32. The following year he won the league and cup double and the Europa League in his one season at Porto before heading to Chelsea, where he was dubbed the new Mourinho.

But he lasted less than a season with the Blues, and little more than one at Tottenham, before stints at Zenit St Petersburg and now, Shanghai SIPG.

Brendan Rodgers

(Swansea 2010-2012, Liverpool 2012-2015)

Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers - (Peter Byrne/PA)
(Peter Byrne/PA)

Brendan Rodgers was a professional with Reading, but never played a competitive game before knee problems forced his retirement aged 20.

He made his name at Chelsea's academy, again under Mourinho, before brief stints as boss at Watford and Reading.

He then led Swansea to promotion to the Premier League and his success in Wales earned him the Liverpool job, where he came within a whisker of winning the league title in 2014. He was sacked in 2015, taking the Celtic job last summer.

Avram Grant

(Chelsea 2007-2008, Portsmouth 2009-2010, West Ham 2010-2011)

Former West Ham manager Avram Grant - (Anthony Devlin/PA)
(Anthony Devlin/PA)

The Israeli began his coaching career in his teens, working his way up to become manager of Hapoel Petah Tikva. Two separate spells at Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa, as well as a four-year stint in charge of the Israel national team, followed, before in 2006 taking up a technical director role at Portsmouth.

In 2007 he became director of football at Chelsea and took over as boss that September following Mourinho's exit. An unpopular appointment with fans, he still led the club to the 2008 Champions League final, which they lost on penalties to Manchester United, before he was dismissed at the end of the season.

Short spells at Portsmouth, whom he led to the FA Cup final, and West Ham followed, while he is now coach of Ghana.

Roy Hodgson


(Blackburn 1997-98, Fulham 2007-2010, Liverpool 2010-2011, West Brom 2011-2012)

Former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson - (Gareth Copley/PA)
(Gareth Copley/PA)

After failing to break into the Crystal Palace first team, Roy Hodgson dropped into non-league, beginning his managerial career with Halmstad in Sweden in 1976.

He has since coached across Europe and beyond, including the national teams of Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Finland and, most recently, England.

His greatest success with a Premier League club came at Fulham, whom he improbably saved from relegation in 2008 and led to the Europa League final in 2010.

Ron Noades

(Crystal Palace 1998)

Former Crystal Palace chairman and caretaker manager, Ron Noades - (Matthew Ashton/EMPICS Sport)
(Matthew Ashton/EMPICS Sport)

The former Crystal Palace owner and chairman, who died aged 76 just over three years ago, had a brief spell as caretaker manager of the Eagles.

He took charge for two matches when their relegation from the Premier League was confirmed, after Attilio Lombardo's seven-game stint in charge was brought to an abrupt end.