Can a manager get a red card in football or is it only footballers who find themselves on the receiving end of one.
Its a question that I used to come to mind for a while before I finally found the answer to it.
Now when you think about red cards, you instantly think of footballers either getting into fights or diving in on an oppositions player.
Its those cases where you would almost always see a red card given.
However, what you may be wondering is whether a coach or manager can get a red card even though they’re not on the field?
This is a more common question than you would initially think, and in this post, I am going to answer that question and others you may have related to this question.
Can A Manager Get A Red Card In Football?
The answer is yes a coach can get a red card in football, despite not even kicking a ball on the pitch.
Now while a red card and even a yellow can be issued to managers nowadays, it is not something that has always been a thing in the game
Before 2018 when Fifa started trialing the card system in different leagues managers would be instead sent to the stands.
It was essentially the equivalent to a red card and was there to discipline any football coach who stepped over the line
Since the end of 2018, leagues around the world have put in place a procedure where managers can get red cards and yellows during matches.
One of them is the EFL where the FA made changes that meant yellow cards and red cards would start being issued among the four top leagues.
Why Do Coaches Get Red Carded?
While coaches won’t get into a situation where they are bringing down the last man or making a horrendous challenge, they will get red cards for the same reasons as the players.
That is because a red card isn’t just given for bad play, its also given for off-ball incidents which means it can easily be given to managers they committed a offense.
In this section, I will run through the reasons why a manager will get a red card.
If you have watched a game of football, you most likely have seen a manager hurling abuse at either the fourth official next to them or directly to the referee on the pitch.
Since the referee gets the final say on all decisions, no matter what they have decided to give a manager must accept it and not talk bad to them.
So if a manager is talking back to the referee because they don’t agree with them, they can get booked and even sent off for doing so.
Now typically a manager won’t be sent of straight away for doing this, what will happen instead is the referee will go over to them and essentially tell them who is in charge and to stop.
This will be the warning, however, if they continue they will get a yellow and then a red. Sometimes it can be a straight red if what they have said warrants an instant dismissal.
With how the game is and the emotions high you can understand why both players and managers talk back.
However as you can see, its pointless and never ends with the referee then changing their mind.
Similar to dissent if a manager performs a sarcastic action then the referee can give them a red card.
A few examples of sarcasm that are punished within football are clapping your hands and putting your thumbs up, mocking the referee’s decision.
Since this shows a lack of respect for the referee and the descisions they make, the referee may decide to warn them or give them a straight card.
This can also depend on how bad or obvious the sarcasm is.
Many players have also received cards for doing this, within recent seasons Frenchman Mateo Guendouzi getting booked for clapping back at Premier League referee Mike Dean.
Kicking Or Throwing
While in a football game throwing yourself about regularly happens albeit, through players being overdramatic, managers are also known for throwing and kicking things too.
When it hits the boiling point and a manager is frustrated with how the game is going, they make kick a water bottle or some object to express this.
An incident that went viral was Jose Mourinho who while in charge at Manchester United in 2016 was sent off for kicking a water bottle along with being charged £16,000.
This of course is not acceptable behavior, and when this happens managers are red-carded for it.
Since the referee will be concentrating on the game, it will be the fourth official who captures this and will relay this back to the referee on the pitch to.
What Happens If A Coach Gets A Red Card?
If a coach gets a red card, they will need to leave the dugout.
This means they will no longer be able to sit down with the rest of the staff or give out instructions directly from the touchline to their players.
Now as I said earlier before red cards were introduced managers would be told to sit in the stands.
This is what happens when a manager is red carded, as they will be typically sent either to the stands or to a box whether they no longer have direct contact with the players.
These aren’t the only repercussions for a manager if they sent off, as they will also get a fine as well a potential suspension which would mean they wouldn’t be allowed in the dugout over the next couple of games.
For instance managers, Carlo Ancelotti and Slaven Bilic who got sent off during games in the 2020/21 premier league season, escaped bans, however, were fined.
How Frequently Does It Happen?
When you look at the stats red cards in general don’t happen that frequently.
From a set of fixtures, you will typically only have one or maybe two games that have a red card.
Of course, this will depend on the league, has for example leagues in South America are known for being more feisty and therefore producing more red cards.
However, when talking about the frequency of red cards for managers it is quite low, especially when you look at the top leagues in Europe.
The only explanation for this is that managers are wise enough to take their warnings, and calm down.
Incidents Where A Manager Has Been Red Carded
There have been some famous incidents over the years where managers have been red-carded.
From headbutting players to throwing a water bottle, there has been everything.
So in this next section, I will take you through 5 famous incidents where managers got the boot
1. Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger’s dismissal will be forever in a lot of football fans’ mind when he was famously sent off back in the days where he was managing Arsenal.
After losing his call after an equalizer from Robin Van Persie that was chalked off, that would of tied the game in injury time, Arsene kicked a water bottle.
Shortly after doing this, Mike Dean was called over by the fourth official, and the Frenchman was given his marching orders.
However while this sounds like your typical red card dismissal, it was what happened next that made it both funny and memorable.
Has after walking up the steps of the Old Trafford stands, Arsene held his arms out indicating that he didn’t know where to go.
2. Diego Simeone
Arguably one of the biggest characters in the game is Atletico Madrid’s manager Diego Simeone.
He is someone who has done things, that make you think, wait he actually did that?!
Now the Uruguayan has had his fair share of reds both as a player and a manager, however, it was a crazy incident in the 2014 Spanish Super Cup that stands out.
That is because he was sent off as well as banned for the following eight games after slapping a fourth official on the back of the head.
3. Slaven Bilic
Football is one of the most exciting sports to watch, however when things aren’t going your way whether you are a fan, player, or manager it can get quite tough.
This was the case for then West Brom manager Slaven Bilic who got heated when Kieran Gibbs was sent off against Everton before halftime.
Slaven had his say just after the halftime whistle was blown, expressing his frustration to Mike Dean who gave him a red card for going overboard.