IT was surprising that the sacking of Les Reed was followed with not one but five managerial sackings in the space of a week.

Although it’s not unusual for managers to lose their jobs, it seems a lot bearing in mind hardly a third of this season’s games have been played.

As well as the sacking of Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic, four managers from the lower divisions have lost their jobs; at Swindon Town (Phil Brown), Shrewsbury (John Askey), AFC Wimbledon (Neal Ardley) and Notts County, where Harry Kewell had only been in the position for 74 days. Unbelievable!

Winning only three games out of 14was enough for him to lose his job.

As I wrote recently in defence of Mark Hughes, it takes time for managers to get to know their players when they go to a new club.

I’m not sure the squads would be as big as Saints’ at the aforementioned EFL clubs but all board directors want to be going up rather than down, whatever the level..

The most recent managerial change was the most interesting to us as it was made at the club Saints play next.

I never liked going to a club that has just been taken over by a new manager because their players, if they had anything about them,would want to make an impression.

Claudio Ranieri has two weeks to work with the Fulham squad during the international break and it is not long since he won the Premier League.

Mr Ranieri surprised everyone when Leicester, the 5000-1 outsiders, pulled off the one every manager dreams of only two years ago.

Incidentally, why he was sacked there puzzles me. You would think he would have been rewarded with a contract for life.

Ranieri has lots of experience, not just in this country, and his appointment makes Mark Hughes’ job that little bit more difficult.

It’s a game both teams need to win, especially with Saints’ forthcoming opponents being a mixture of strugglers - Huddersfield and Cardiff – and top-six clubs.

And all this before the new year!

That makes it interesting as well as nail-biting for the supporters, especially with it being more and more important for clubs to stay in the league because of the finances involved.

Talking of finances, another story that hit the headlines this week was Richard Scudamore’s retirement.

That was not too much of a surprise in itself. After all, he’s coming up to 60 and has been in the job nearly 20 years.

But many were shocked when the chairman of Chelsea, Mr Bruce Buck, suggested that each of the 20 Premier League clubs should put in £250,000, towards a £5m thankyou pay-off for all the work he has done as the competition’s CEO.

I suppose there are two ways to look at this. It has been well documented that there were times when he made about £2.5m in a year.

Based on that, people are understandably asking why should he get more now.

On the other hand, that was not his basic salary, which was still an awful lot (probably around £900,000).

The extras came in as bonuses because of the agreements he struck with television companies all around the world.

His hard work means Premiership football is shown in just about every country.

Thanks to him billions of pounds are coming to the Premier League clubs and players from all round the world want to come and play here.

Recently the chief executive of a company was heavily criticised for receiving a pay-off of £75m when apparently he did not bring in as much profit to his company as Richard has done for the Premier League.

So take it or leave it. All I know is that he did a fantastic job and the clubs would not miss £250,000 so much.

It is a thankyou for all the good times he has brought them. Either way, I don’t think he will be too disappointed.

NOWADAYS, Christmas seems to come at the beginning of November.

Southampton FC are already advertising tickets for a dinner called ‘Christmas with the Stars’ on December 13.

I’m pleased in a lot of ways because on the night several ex-players will be in attendance, one on each table apparently.

I’ve accepted my invitation and apparently the likes of David Peach, Glenn Cockerill, Kevin Davies, Franny Benali, Micky Adams, Ken Monkou and more will be there. I’ll be delighted to meet up with them and I’m sure supporters will feel the same.

So well done to the club for getting ex-players involved.

Nicky Banger, one of my signings, will be helping as MC and hosting the auction so it’s something to look forward to.

Anyone wanting to be there can contact Daniel Parker by emailing or Nicky ( . It should be a great night.