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BURAK BELGENThere are football managers most people like, there are managers some people like but don’t appreciate, there are managers most people dislike. And then, there is Jim Fallon! The tragicomical side to his story is that even though it may appear to be very fictitious, it is true. The name Jim Fallon might remind you of the Jimmy Fallon, the host of the Tonight Show and the starring actor from the movie Fever Pitch but the two men have nothing in common. Neither their careers nor their luck are similar!

Dumbarton F.C., founded in 1872, is the fourth oldest football club in Scotland.At the end of the 1994-1995 season, they were promoted from Division 2 to the Scottish Premier and they had a strong team. Murdo McLeod, the manager who helped the team to get promoted, had a very good start in the beginning of the 1995-1996 season and the team got 2 wins in the first 2 games of the season. Receiving a very interesting offer from the English Premier League, he decides to make the move. Even though the successful manager decides to leave the club, the club management decides that there is no need to reason to worry since the team is well established and they can carry on with the new manager, Jim Fallon.

dumbarton 1This is the point where Dumbarton F.C. runs out of luck! Being appointed just a few hours from the third game, Fallon makes a relieving statement to the press that he will not change the squad and the system which got them to the Scottish Premier League. They lose their fist game 4-0. Before they could understand what is going on, the team which won their first 2 games saw 4 goals in their net. First reactions are very cautious; most people think the manager is new and he needs time to adapt to the team and the environment. They have to be patient, everything will get better they think. Fallon says “Give me 2 weeks, things will change within 1 month. We will be a very different team by February, by March we will be at the top of our form.” He manages the team for the rest of the season and the team gets 1 win and 2 draws in 34 games! He collects fewer points in 34 games than McLeod got in just 2 games! The team concedes 94 goals and collects only 11 points (6 of them in the first 2 weeks) and they inevitably get relegated. Ones who think that they made the mistake of their lives by appointing Fallon will make another mistake by thinking so. For the sake of consistency, the club decides to stick with Fallon.

In the first 12 games, Dumbarton F.C. gets 1 win, 3 draws and 8 losses and once again, they go down to the bottom of the table. Fallon desperately claims that he has the control and they will heal as a team but this time things are too obvious for the management. They sack him in November. Funny part is, the following manager cannot prevent relegation either and the team goes back to Third division with full speed; however, he at least wins his first three games for the club. Fallon, the expert at hitting rock bottom, stays in charge of Dumbarton for a total of 46 games where he gets only 2 wins and 5 draws and a mind boggling number of 39 losses, getting the title of “most cursed manager in British Football”.

For Fallon, being cursed is not limited to football at all.

Listen to this:

fallon 2*** Lightning strikes his new car –which he bought just 3 days ago- and turns it into junk!

*** The new house he bought in Scotland burns down within 1 month!

*** He almost plucks out someone’s eye with a billard cue while playing pool at a local club. The poor guy, unaware that Fallon is around, is lucky enough to get away with a sore eye.

*** One day, while he is playing football with his daughter on his backyard, he breaks his daughter’s nose. More to come: trying to rush her to the hospital, he cannot make it round the bend and he crashes into an electric pole, blacking out the whole neighborhood.

*** As a witness, he devotes his best wishes to couples in 3 different marriage ceremonies. None of these marriages last more than 1.5 years!

Long story short, my advice to you is, if you ever go to Scotland and have the honor to meet Jim Fallon, just pray to God and run for your life!

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