The story of 2007 was particularly a sad one for the likes of Fabio Capello, sacked by Real Madrid just 11 days after the Italian led the Spanish giants to their first league title since 2003.
Jose Mourinho's two English Premiership titles in his first two seasons at Chelsea also did not ensure job security. The Portuguese coach departed in September "by mutual consent" because Russian owner Roman Abramovich wanted more attractive football.
Felix Magath had an even better record at Germany's Bayern Munich, winning an unprecedented cup and league double two seasons running. But Magath was shown the door on January 31 after Bayern picked up only a point in their first two matches following the winter break.
Ottmar Hitzfeld, their former coach, was already waiting in the wings to be appointed the same day. It didn't do much good: Bayern finished fourth, out of Champions League qualification.
The day Magath went was a particularly bleak one for coaches in the Bundesliga: Thomas Doll at SV Hamburg and Jupp Heynckes at Borussia Moenchengladbach were also dismissed, but at least they couldn't protest too strongly as both were in relegation trouble.
Quique Sanchez Flores also failed to live up to Valencia's expectations, becoming the third coach to be fired by Valencia in three years. Former Dutch international Ronald Koeman moved from PSV Eindhoven to replace him.
Another Spanish coach on the move was Juande Ramos who resigned at Sevilla to take over at England's Tottenham Hotspur, replacing the sacked Martin Jol.
Jol's dismissal had been on the cards for some time after a poor start to the current season, and the same fate was said to be awaiting Steve McClaren if England failed to qualify for Euro 2008.
McClaren was predictably out of a job the morning after a 3-2 home defeat to Croatia sealed England's sorry fate at the new Wembley stadium, which opened this year after much delay.
England became the only one of the traditional top nations to fail to join next June's tournament in Austria and Switzerland.
World champions Italy avoided the same indignity by beating Scotland at Hampden Park in their last qualifying match. The Scots had gone close in a campaign in which they twice beat France.
The French, meanwhile, gained revenge for their 2006 World Cup final defeat by Italy, and Thierry Henry overtook Michel Platini as his country's leading scorer.
Defending champions Greece qualified with two games to spare, and Germany had an even smoother campaign, finishing as the continent's highest scorers with 35 goals.
Even tiny Luxembourg had something to cheer: a victory over Belarus in October which ended a run of 55 competitive matches without a victory that had stretched back 12 years.
One coach to escape the axe was Carlo Ancelotti whose AC Milan defeated Liverpool in Athens in May to win the Champions League.
Milan, allegedly involved in the 2006 Serie A scandal, began the 2006/2007 season with a points reduction and had to start the Champions League at the qualification stage.
The Rossoneri coach was often questioned, but with the Brazilian Kaka in superb form - and looking set to be voted 2007 European Footballer of the Year - his team went on to beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final and gain revenge for a defeat on penalties two years earlier when his team had squandered a 3-0 lead.
Meanwhile, city rivals Inter Milan won the Serie A league title with five games left to play.
However it was another troubled year for Italian domestic football following the match-fixing scandals of 2006.
The Italian Football Federation suspended all matches after a policeman was killed at a Serie A match between Catania and Palermo in February.
Problems resurfaced in November after a fan was accidentally shot dead by a policeman, provoking rioting and another match suspension.
The Spanish league title went to Real Madrid, ending a four-year trophy drought. The era of the "galacticos" truly came to an end when David Beckham left Real to play for Los Angeles Galaxy, and the German Bernd Schuster was appointed coach to replace Capello.
Sevilla successfully defended their UEFA Cup title but the club was in mourning in late August when defender Antonio Puerta collapsed on the field and died following a heart attack.
In the other major European leagues, Manchester United won the English Premiership, Olympique Lyon captured a sixth successive French title while VfB Stuttgart were the surprise champions in Germany.
Germany celebrated winning the women's World Cup, defeating Brazil 2-0 in the final in September to become the first national team in women's World Cup history to obtain two consecutive titles.
The Brazilian men's team, however, won the Copa America for the eighth time by beating Argentina 3-0 in the final in July.
In the same month, war-torn Iraq was able to forget its troubles for a time with a remarkable triumph in the Asian Cup thanks to a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in the final.
Barry Whelan, dpa