Fifty four managers were sacked throughout the top four English divisions in a season the chief executive of the League Managers Association described as "embarrassing".

Richard Bevan said the figure of 54 for the 2015-16 season was the highest since 2001 and pointed out that just five of those managers who were forced out are currently back in work, while a further 12 bosses resigned.

He told BBC Radio Four's Today Programme: "It's another very relentless, disappointing and embarrassing season for the sport.

"It's the worst season ever. There's a lot of pressure these days, not only on the managers and the professional practitioners, but also on the owners and executives running the clubs.

"The need for results, the strive for promotion and relegation, you just need the people running the clubs to take a step back to assess what actually is a successful season for them and to manage the expectation of the fans."

Brendan Rodgers became the first Premier League managerial casualty of the season when Liverpool sacked him in October.

Aston Villa dismissed Tim Sherwood later that month, while Garry Monk and Jose Mourinho were sacked by Swansea and Chelsea respectively in December.

March saw Steve McClaren and Remi Garde leave relegation-threatened Newcastle and Villa respectively, while this month Roberto Martinez parted ways with Everton and Quique Sanchez Flores was ousted by Watford.

Dick Advocaat also resigned as Sunderland boss back in October and Sam Allardyce, his successor at the Stadium of Light, recently suggested there could be no English managers left in the top flight "very shortly".

Allardyce is one of just three full-time English managers currently in the Premier League - along with Crystal Palace's Alan Pardew and Bournemouth's Eddie Howe - but Bevan did not agree with his assessment.

Bevan said: "I'm not so sure about that, but he's certainly right to bring it up. We've got (Burnley boss) Sean Dyche coming up and three of the four managers in the (Championship) play-offs are English.

"We have 53 English managers, 67 British, (in the Football League) and I think we have very talented, knowledgeable managers and coaches there, and we need to make sure we invest in their development."

In the Championship alone there have been 38 sackings in the past two seasons, and Bevan urged clubs to give managers "a minimum of three years" to get it right.

He added: "If you were to sack the most important person in (any) business every eight to 10 months what will it do to your brand? What will it do to the market place?

"Obviously it causes instability, significant cost and a lot of problems from our members' perspective."