Which manager has achieved most promotions to the top flight of English football?

The manager who has achieved most promotions to the top flight of English football is Neil Warnock, who has led four teams to the upper echelon, one to the Football League First Division and three to its successor, the Premier League. Most recently, in February, 2023, Warnock briefly came out of retirement, at the age of 74, to rescue his former club Huddersfield Town from relegation to League One. The Terries included, Warnock has managed 16 different teams in English football and gained promotion on eight occasions, which is, itself, a record.

Warnock was appointed manager of Notts County, in the Football League Third Division, on January 5, 1989 and led the Magpies to successive promotions, via the Third Division play-offs in 1989/90 and the Second division play-offs in 1990/91. However, his first stint in the top flight was short-lived, with County relegated from the First Division in 1991/92 and thereby missing out on a place in the inaugural Premier League.

In 2006/07, Warnock was back again, having led his hometown club, Sheffield United, to automatic promotion from the Championship the previous season. The Blades, too, suffered immediate relegation and Warnock resigned from the club on May 16, 2007. On March 1, 2010, Warnock replaced Mick Harford as manager of Queens Park Rangers, with whom he won the Championship in 2010/11, but was sacked on January 8, 2012, with the club lying seventeenth in the Premier League. He won his fourth, and final, promotion to the Premier League with Cardiff City in 2017/18, but left the club on November 11, 2019, following immediate relegation back to the Championship.

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