The sporting hirings and firings of Michael Eisner amid calls for Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett to be sacked

You can hardly go 30 seconds on Twitter without seeing some sort of comment calling for Kenny Jackett's head.

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 7:00 pm

The Pompey boss is public enemy number one among the Fratton faithful at the moment.

Against the backdrop of two failed play-off bids, the Blues have started this season in lacklustre form.

Despite a favourable opening set of fixtures, Pompey have picked up just two points from their opening three matches and languish in the relegation zone.

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Pompey are currently taking into consideration financial worries created by the Covid-19 crisis, with fans potentially locked out of stadia for six months.

The Blues have already lost £5m during the pandemic and to get rid of Jackett and his backroom staff would cost circa £400,000.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett, left, and chairman Michael Eisner. Picture: Joe Pepler

Nevertheless, that's still not going to stop supporters badgering chairman Michael Eisner on Twitter to act.

Since the play-off defeat to Oxford, the American's been harried by tweets of 'Jackett out' in an attempt for the boss to be axed.

Yet Eisner has stuck with his man, having preached continuity and stability since his takeover presentation in Portsmouth Guidhall in May 2017.

Eisner's purchase of Fratton Park wasn't his first venture into the sporting world, though.

In fact, it was his third after the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Anaheim Angels during his time as chief executive of The Walt Disney Company.

And while Jackett's position is safe for now, Eisner has shown his ruthless side in the past and he is willing to change personnel if he feels is required.

On the back of the hugely-successful 1992 film The Mighty Ducks, Eisner oversaw the founding of ice hockey team the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim a year later.

For their maiden season in the National Hockley League in 1993-94, Jack Ferreira was appointed general manager along with Ron Wilson as head coach.

The Ducks failed to make the Stanley Cup play-offs in their first three campaigns.

In 1996-97, after finishing second in the Pacific Division, the Ducks qualified for the play-offs for the first time in their history.

They edged Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 in the first round of the Western Conference, before being thrashed 4-0 by Detroit Red Wings in the next stage.

That led to Wilson’s contract not being renewed, with the Los Angeles Times reporting that Eisner voiced his opinion in the decision.

Wilson was replaced by Pierre Gauthier, although the Ducks failed to make the play-offs during his first year.

In the aftermath, this time it was Ferreira who lost his job as general manager and demoted to vice president of hockey operations, with Gauthier taking over in the hot seat. Craig Hartsburg subsequently became head coach.

But for the first time in the Ducks' short history, they'd make a managerial change in the middle of a season.

After not reaching the play-offs in 1999-2000 or 2000-2001, the Ducks got off to a poor start the following campaign. Harsbury was sacked, with assistant-coach Guy Charron taking the reins for the remainder.

Bryan Murray would land the coaching job for 2001-02, although there'd be another change in roles for him at the season's end to become general manager. Failure to qualify for the play-offs for three consecutive years saw Gauthier moved on.

Gauthier would be the last general manager or head coach who was fired before Disney sold the Ducks in February 2005, although Murray did resign to join the Ottawa Senators a year earlier.

Eisner also played a major role in Disney's takeover of a Major League Baseball side.

Known as the California Angels when purchased in 1998, they were then renamed Anaheim Angels (now named the Los Angeles Angles).

The Angels changed their backroom staff far less frequently than the Ducks during Disney's six seasons of ownership, however.

Bill Bavasi started as general manager but was replaced by Bill Stoneman after one term.

Stoneman and assistant Mike Scioscia would bring the ultimate prize to California in 2002. They guided the Angels to their first World Series title, beating state rivals San Francisco Giants 4-3 in the play-off finals.

Disney then sold the team to Arturo Moreno in 2003.

Despite the supporter dissatisfaction at Fratton Park and a poor start to the season, Jackett's got a run of eight games in October to prove himself before his situation may again come under review.

But history shows that if a change of management is deemed necessary then Eisner will act.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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