Nigel Pearson’s tenure at Leicester City has been…eventful. But now it’s over. Again. And seemingly for real this time.
Pearson began his second stint with Leicester midway through the 2011/12 season. They were 12th in the Championship at the time and he took them in the same direction each season since then: up.
Leicester finished top in the Championship in 2013/14 to gain automatic promotion to the Premier League. And last season, despite being favored to go right back down, Pearson kept them up, finishing 14th thanks to a remarkable end of season run in which they won seven of their last nine matches, more than doubling their point total for the season.
Amidst Pearson’s unlikely Premier League success, however, was a string of bizarre incidents that exposed his confrontational nature and nearly got him sacked midway through the season.
Last December he refused to apologize for telling Ra Leicester fan to “Fuck off and die” during a 3–1 loss to Liverpool.
In February, he throttled Crystal Palace’s James McArthur after a touchline collision.
Though he escaped an FA ban for that, the incident did lead to Pearson being told that he had been sacked before the club eventually issued a statement claiming his job was never in question.
Most hilariously of all, in April, Pearson called a reporter an ostrich during a press conference after a 3–1 loss to Chelsea.
Pearson did apologize for that one, though.
But according to the BBC, what ended Pearson’s reign were the actions of his son, who made headlines at the conclusion of the season for starring in a racist sex tape with two other Leicester City players. All three had their contracts terminated once the footage ended up on the internet.
From the BBC:
The issue was the final straw in the deteriorating relationship between the owners and Pearson.
BBC Sport’s Pat Murphy has learned that the 51-year-old’s sacking was “definitely not a football issue”.
Murphy said that the Thai owners acted because they were concerned about damage to the club’s reputation, while a Leicester statement said the relationship between Pearson and the board was “no longer viable”.
Telling fans to fuck off and die. Wrestling opponents. Calling reporters ostriches. Being the father of a racist sex tape performer. These are the elements necessary to lose your job despite consistently achieving all that’s asked of you. Remember that.