Billy Davies: I’m Ready to Get Back into Football Management

Billy Davies is ready to make his long-awaited return to football management.


Davies started his managerial career off at Motherwell and became their youngest manager at 33 years old and helped the club survive relegation in his first season. The Glasgow-born manager brought through and developed the likes of Scotland hero James McFadden, Stevie Hammell, Stephen Pearson, and Keith Lasley. In Davies’ second season, he guided the club to a top 4 finish and narrowly missed out on European football. He left the following season due to the Steelman’s poor financial situation and joined Preston North End as assistant manager under Craig Brown.



After Brown departed the club as manager in 2004, Davies was appointed as caretaker manager, and shortly after was given the job on a permanent basis. He equalled the club’s long-standing record dating back to 1888/1889 and went on an incredible 25-match unbeaten run.  Davies took the Lilywhites to the Championship Play-Off Final but lost to West Ham 1-0. The following season, Preston went on a 25-game unbeaten run but lost in the play-off semi-final to Leeds United.


Davies left Preston in 2006 to join Derby County and in his first season in charge, he won promotion to the English Premier League defeating West Brom 1-0 in the play-off final. The Rams struggled in the top flight, largely due to a lack of commitment, support and investment from the board – Davies left the club three months into the season. Davies said on the ScotScore Podcast that there was a three-year plan for the club to get promoted but it happened too quickly, and they weren’t ready to be a Premier League side at that time. 


The Scotsman’s last managerial job was with Nottingham Forest, where he had two spells with the club and during that time got them into the Championship play-offs twice, broke the iconic Brian Clough’s record with 12 consecutive home wins, and went on a 36-game unbeaten run at home over two seasons.  


Since Davies has been out of the game, many have been wondering how is someone with his credentials not been snapped up by a club?



Speaking on the ScotScore Podcast, Davies said he’s got his passion back and is ready to make a return to the dugout:


“After I left Forest for the second time, I got a little bit disenchanted for a little period after I left. I had to face some very serious family health issues, that was a number of years ago that took place which was a real worry and a concern.


After we got over all that stuff, I decided to build on my qualifications and went to Liverpool University for a diploma in football management and I’m going back in the summer to do a postgraduate strategic leadership and I’ve been doing a lot of continued personal development, reviewing on first aid, women’s football, mental health, and psychology. I have to say I am buzzing, focused, got my energy and passion back and I am now ready to go.”


Throughout Davies’ managerial career, he’s generated a transfer revenue of £32 million, which proves that he is an astute manager when it comes to the business side of football. The 59-year-old signed striker David Nugent for Preston for a fee of £99,000 and was later sold for a huge profit of £6 million to Portsmouth.  



The former Rangers player has shown that he can work under a shoestring budget and produce results. Davies is one of football’s most colourful personalities that still has plenty to offer in the game and it should only be a matter of time before a club is lucky enough to attain his services.


By: Scott Bradley / @ScottBradleyX

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Craig Foy – SNS Group