Charismatic Russian manager Leonid Slutsky was chosen by the Allam family to lead the Tigers into the 2017/18 Championship season following relegation from the Premier League and the departure of Portuguese manager Marco Silva. Slutsky credentials were impressive, having managed top flight sides in Russia and led the Russian national side for just under a year. He also had a strong relationship with the Russian owners of Premier League side Chelsea and was soon able to pull strings and claim three young Chelsea defenders on season-long loans – Ola Aina, Fikayo Tomori and Michael Hector. He also bought 2007/08 season play-off superstar Fraizer Campbell back to the KC Stadium, the forward was older, wiser and a little slower but still a capable player. He also signed Swedish international midfielder Sebestian Larsson, an experienced and capable operator capable of taking a fine free kick.
The 2017/18 season started with optimism, a battling draw at Aston Villa that yielded Jarrod Bowen’s first senior goal was followed by a 4-1 thumping of Burton Albion with Abel Hernandez claiming a hattrick. Alas the Tigers won only one of the next eight League games – another big win as Bolton Wanderers were cuffed 4-0 – and the Tigers quickly slid down the table. When Birmingham City were thumped 6-1 at the end of October to bring that poor run to an end Slutsky appeared to have turned a corner, however it soon became apparent that his attacking outlook on the game, coupled with defence that featured young and inexperienced personnel, was not sufficient to maintain a challenge in the ultra competitive Championship. A seven game winless run in late October and November sealed his fate, his final match in charge was a battling early December 2-2 draw at Sheffield Wednesday when Michael Dawson scored an injury time winner to claim a point. Slutsky left the Tigers the following day after less than six months at the Hull City helm.
Leonid Viktorovich Slutsky was born in the southern Russian city of Volgograd located on the banks of the River Volga. He was a goalkeeper in his youth and played for a local league team Zvezda Gorodishche in the late 1980s until a knee injury sustained when falling from a tree ended his career. Once recovered, Leonid went into football coaching and by 1993 was a youth coach at Olimpia Volgograd, a club that he briefly managed in a caretaker capacity in 2000. In January 2002 Slutsky was appointed the U19s manager at Uralan Elista, between November 2003 and July 2004 he was promoted to first team manager following relegation to the Russian second division. Between July 2004 and July 2005 Slutsky managed the FC Moscow second team, in July 2005 he was promoted to first team manager at Russian top flight club. Over the next two seasons Slutsky led Moscow to two top six finishes in the league, European competition and in May 2007 a place in the Russian Cup final where they were defeated in extra time by local rivals Lokomotiv Moscow.
Slutsky left FC Moscow in November 2007 and was manager at Russian top flight rivals Krylia Sovetov between January 2008 and October 2009. In October 2009 he was appointed manager at Russian giants CSKA Moscow, taking over an talented but underperforming squad. In his first season he led CSKA to the knockout stages of the Champions League and fifth place in the Russian First Division, then over the next six seasons he led his team to three League titles (in 2013, 2014 and 2016) and two Russian Cup final victories (in 2010 and 2013). He resigned from his post in December 2016 after seven years and 302 matches in charge. Leonid had been out of frontline work for six months when he joined Hull City in June 2017, having recently worked in an advisory capacity for Chelsea chairman Roman Abrahamovic.
Slutsky left Hull City in December 2017 but within a month he had been appointed academy manager at Russian side Rostov. In July 2018 he was appointed first team manager at Dutch Eredivisie side Vitesse Arnhem and in his first season he led Vitesse to a top five league finish and European qualification. After poor run of form Slutsky resigned from his post in November 2019 and returned to Russia – he led Vitesse for 62 matches. In December 2019 he was appointed manager at Russian first division side Rubin Kazan and led his side for three seasons, finishing in the top five at the end of the 2020/21 season. However his side struggled throughout the 2021/22 and ended the season with relegation to the Russia First Division, the country’s second tier. Slutsky stayed on for the start of the 2022/23 season and led Rubin to fourth place in the second tier before resigning in November 2022 after 96 games in charge. After a year out of the game Slutsky was appointed manager at Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in December 2023.
In August 2015 Slutsky was appointed manager of Russia’s senior international team. He began his time as international coach with a magnificent five consecutive wins that secured qualification for the Euro 2016 finals in France, however his side won only one point from a draw against England in three Euro 2016 group matches and were quickly eliminated. Slutsky resigned in late June 2016, immediately after defeat to Wales in the third and decisive group game, he led his country’s football team for 13 matches.
Date/Place of Birth: 4 May 1971, Volgograd, Russia
Appointed by Hull City: 9 June 2017; 46 years, 36 days old
Left Hull City: 3 December 2017; 46 years, 213 days old
Tenure: 177 days
Olimpia Volgograd (2000), Uralan Elista (2003-2004), FC Moscow (2005-2007), Krylia Sovetov (2008-2009), CSKA Moscow (2009-2016), Hull City (2017), Vitesse Arnhem (2018-2019), Rubin Kazan (2019-2022), Shanghai Shenhua (2023-current)
Hull City Record
Playing Record: Played 21, Won 4, Drawn 7, Lost 10, Goals For 34, Goals Against 39