1 9 8 9 – 1 9 9 0 (UK)
12 x 60 minute episodes
Glamorous Cherie Lunghi starred as Italian-born Gabriella Benson, who has two passions in life: the thriving fitness centre she owns and football (her wealthy father, Sergio Rebecchi (Sergio Fantoni), is a powerful UEFA committee member).
For 25 years, she has followed the fortunes of her (unnamed) local team – a struggling English second division side. When Gabriella lets the club chairman, Martin Fisher (Warren Clarke), know what she thinks of his team’s performance, he shocks the football world by offering her the manager’s job, which she accepts.
Her life is suddenly much more exciting – but far less perfect – as she meets the incredulity and hostility of players and the press alike, with everyone waiting for her to fail in a world that involves big business, sex scandals, shady deals and racial prejudice.
Team captain Gary Halliwell was played by Mark McGann, with Coach Eddie Johnson played by Tom Georgeson, formerly the jobless Dixie in Boys From The Blackstuff.
Stan Hey, who wrote Auf Wiedersehen Pet, teamed up with Gumshoe writer Neville Smith to create The Manageress.
The series was a Zed Production for Channel 4 and The European Co-Production Association.
Shots of the football ground were filmed at Elm Park, the former home ground of Reading which was demolished in 1998. Other filming took place at Sheffield United’s ground and in Italy.