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Ouch! Louis van Gaal gets the chop

Ouch! Louis van Gaal gets the chop

It may seem strange to people who don’t understand the machinations of British football, but yes, Louis van Gaal was sacked as Manchester United boss within 48 hours of his side winning the FA Cup, beating Crystal Palace 2-1. Rumours have abounded that Jose Mourinho was due to take his place for weeks, and it seems that the victory at Wembley on Saturday, did nothing to persuade the Manchester United bosses otherwise.

The club claims that van Gaal had to go because Manchester United had played so poorly this year, scoring only 49 league goals, failing to qualify for Champions League, and finishing fifth in the Premier League table. Nonetheless, van Gaal shouldn’t have too much trouble finding another job – there aren’t that many managers who’ve carried off an FA Cup win after all.

As I write this, Mourinho is attending talks with senior club officials in Manchester and an announcement is imminent.

So, with this in mind, I wondered about other famous people who had received the sack, and came up with some interesting names. Here’s our look at eight other famous sackings.

Walt and his little friend

Walt and his little friend

Walt Disney (1901-1966)
At the youthful age of 18, Walt Disney was fired from his first animation jobs at the Kansas City Star newspaper, after his editor told him he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas,” and just wasn’t creative enough. Disney then acquired an animation studio called Laugh-O-Gram, but he drove it into bankruptcy. In his twenties he moved to Hollywood with his brother. They started up the Disney Brothers’ Studio, and eventually created Mickey Mouse and Disneyland. As a film producer he received 22 Academy Awards from 59 nominations and went on to win more individual Oscars than anyone else.

Steve Jobs - a midlife crisis that turned out OK

Steve Jobs – a midlife crisis that turned out OK

Steve Jobs
One of my favourite famous sackings – Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, the company he cofounded in 1984. He was in his 30s and Apple had just announced the revolutionary “new” Macintosh with a mouse and first ever graphical user interface on a commercially sold computer. However, at $2500, the computer was hard to sell. Jobs wanted to go ahead and spend more money on the Macintosh, but his board wanted to focus on the older but more successful Apple II. A power struggle ensued and Jobs was fired by the then CEO of Apple, John Sculley. Jobs was devastated.

By 1997 Apple was a sinking ship, in a financial mess. Microsoft had launched Windows 95 and was taking the tech world by storm. Apple needed a better operating system with modern features and plumped for one run by a company called NeXT, Steve Jobs’ new company. Talks were initiated between the two companies and finally Apple acquired NeXT for 427 million dollars. Steve Jobs joined Apple under the title of an advisor and later went on to create history

Tony McCaroll beats a hasty retreat

Tony McCaroll beats a hasty retreat

Tony McCarroll from Oasis
One of the most amusing famous sackings is this one from the 1990s. Getting on the wrong side of Noel Gallagher is probably not the best idea. Tony McCarroll found this out to his significant cost. A founding member of the band Oasis, before Noel Gallagher even joined, McCarroll often clashed with Noel about small things, particularly ‘democratic decision making’. McCarroll unwittingly signed a contract that gave the Gallagher brothers the right to the name Oasis, and effectively left McCarroll out in the cold. He was fired soon after the success of the first album, Definitely Maybe. Noel cites musical differences as the reason for the drummer being fired, but McCarroll claimed it was due to personality clashes.

In 1999, Oasis agreed to pay their former drummer £550,000 – a one off payment – after he sued the Manchester rockers for millions in unpaid royalties. The case went to the High Court, with McCarroll claiming £18M, but a lump sum was agreed, that precluded the pay out of any future royalty claims by McCarroll. McCarroll also had to pay his own legal costs of £200,000. I think he may have sold himself short …

Sid - lost in a world of his own imagining ...

Sid – lost in a world of his own imagining …

Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd
One of the saddest famous sackings of all time. Roger Keith “Syd” Barrett (6 January 1946 – 7 July 2006) was an English musician, composer, singer, songwriter, and painter who was best known for being a founder member of Pink Floyd. In the early years of Pink Floyd, Barrett was a creative driving force but he was fired from the group in April 1968.

Barrett was a heavy drug user, and his behaviour throughout 1967 and 1968 had become increasingly bizarre and erratic. He was replaced on stage by several other guitarists, including his friend Dave Gilmour, who went on to join the band full time in December 1967. Barrett was unable to perform and wandered the stage in a drugged haze while Gilmour played his guitar parts. Band members grew increasingly frustrated by Barrett’s odd behaviour.

On 26 January 1968, legend has it that Roger Waters was driving to a show at Southampton University. One person asked, “Shall we pick Syd up?” and another said, “Let’s not bother” and the car went on without him. Waters described Barrett as a ‘mad genius’. Although they rarely saw him again, the band held him in their affections until his death of pancreatic cancer at the age of 60. Pink Floyd always paid Syd his fair share of royalties.

Thank heavens for J K's sacking - imagine a world without Potter!

Thank heavens for J K’s sacking – imagine a world without Potter!

J.K. Rowling
J K Rowling once worked as a secretary for the London office of Amnesty International, but her dreams of being a writer meant that her focus was elsewhere. She has admitted that while at work she spent far too much time brainstorming story ideas. She secretly wrote her stories on her work computer, dreaming up the wonderful world of a teenage wizard named Harry Potter. When her employers finally got fed up with her, they gave her the boot, but at least the cheque she received helped to support her as she focused properly on her writing. This is probably – for J K Rowling at least – one of the most opportune famous sackings of all time.

There, there Oprah!

There, there Oprah!

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey was once told by a Baltimore TV producer that she was “unfit for television news” because she tended to become too ‘emotionally invested’ in the stories she was covering. Winfrey was working as an evening news reporter, for Baltimore’s WJZ-TV channel when the producer decided she needed to go. But as a consolation (he can’t have been all bad) he did offer her a chance at the daytime TV show, “People Are Talking.” The show quickly became a hit and Winfrey stayed there for eight years, before hosting her own “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which aired for 25 seasons. She’s worth an estimated $3 billion apparently.

A still from Something's Got to Give

A still from Something’s Got to Give

Marilyn Monroe
In 1962, Marilyn Monroe was contracted to work on the film, Something’s Got to Give. Directed by George Cukor for 20th Century Fox it was also set to star Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse. Unfortunately, Monroe was not in a great way. On the very first day of production, April 23, 1962, Monroe phoned in sick with a severe sinus infection and would not be on the set that morning. The studio sent a doctor to examine the star at her home who suggested postponing the movie for a month. But Cukor did not want to wait. Filming continued without Monroe where possible. She showed up occasionally, but had constant fever, headaches, chronic sinusitis and bronchitis. For her part Monroe was frustrated by the constant script rewrites.

On Monday, June 4, 1962, Monroe had to tell the studio she wouldn’t be on set again, thanks to a flare up of sinusitis, and a temperature of 100 °F (37.8 °C). Cukor met with the studio and strongly endorsed her dismissal. Unfortunately for Fox, Something’s Got to Give was behind schedule, at the same time as their other major blockbuster, Cleopatra was going over budget. The studio dropped the Monroe film in order to offset the increasing costs of Cleopatra.

Monroe was found dead in her home on August 5, 1962, making this the most tragic of famous sackings.

The original meme for 'I've got an idea'!

The original meme for ‘I’ve got an idea’!

Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931)
Thomas Edison was always conducting experiments while working at Western Union. One night in 1867, while working the night shift, he was experimenting with batteries when he spilled some sulfuric acid that ate through the floor and onto his boss’ desk below. He was fired the next morning. He went on to invent the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb.

Over to you
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