Revealed: The Most Divisive Lincoln City Managers Since 1996

Credit Graham Burrell

Football managers always divide opinion; it is inevitable.

It was brought to my attention with Michael Appleton getting the Charlton job – some people wished him well and enthused about our run to the play-offs in 2020/21, whereas others referred with derision to the following season. It struck me that, in terms of opinion, he could be one of the managers who divided the fanbase the most.

That got me thinking – which other managers divided the Imps fanbase? Peter Jackson, almost certainly. He was very media-friendly but lacked substance on the field. John Beck brought a degree of success, but with it, an attitude that angered many and tactics that were the closest to anti-football I’ve ever seen.

Were they managers who divided the fanbase more than Appleton? What about David Holdsworth, a man working with next to no money, who arguably kept us in the Blue Square Premier before he almost took us out of it? Were fans split on John Schofield after a great season in 2006/07 but dropping off a cliff in 2007/08?

Well, you’ve had your say. More than 500 of you have voted on the managers (oddly, some managers have more votes than others), and your most divisive manager has now been revealed.

Without further ado, here are the top five most divisive Lincoln City managers since 1996.

5th – David Holdsworth


Courtesy Graham Burrell

Like Votes – 174

Dislike Votes – 274

Split – 39% / 61%

Games Managed – 71

Win Percentage – 29.58%

I’m really pleased Reg made the list. I’m pleased because it shows that a section of the fanbase appreciates the role he played in our eventual return from the Blue Square Premier. Remember, this is the manager who signed Paul Farman, the manager who brought Tom Miller to the club, and who arrested the slide out of the division we were on under Tilson.

I can understand why people didn’t like him, but had we hung on for a couple of moments longer against Mansfield Town in the FA Cup, we’d have welcomed Liverpool to the Bank and the riches that came with it. Would a David Holdsworth with money have had a better stab at management?

We’ll never know, but he’s the fourth most divisive on the list.