CLARK: IT’S TOUGH TO LOSE MY PALS

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Sam Jack­son

BIRM­ING­HAM City man­ager Lee Clark has ad­mit­ted that part­ing ways with his two trusted lieu­tenants, Terry McDer­mott and Derek Faza­ck­erly, both 62, was tough.

But Clark in­sists that the duo were not sacked and that their de­par­ture was not a cost-cut­ting mea­sure at St Andrew’s.

He wanted to make a change and said: “It was very dif­fi­cult. For­get our work­ing re­la­tion­ship, I have known them for 25 years.

“Derek and I very good friends, and be­tween me and Terry there is the fam­ily friend­ship. It has been un­be­liev­ably tough.

“I have to re­it­er­ate that no-one has been sacked.

“And ob­vi­ously, as you know with em­ploy­ment is­sues, it has to go through le­gal process and that’s where we’re at at the mo­ment.

“There’s no smoke or mir­rors, no duck­ing and div­ing. That’s ul­ti­mately where we are. We just move for­ward.

“They have been very, very loyal people to me. But as one man­ager rightly said to me – the state­ment is so apt for the foot­ball world – ‘the only con­stant in the game is change’.

“That’s the only thing you can guar­an­tee – and that’s what’s hap­pened.

“It is sad but we have to move on.”

Birm­ing­ham sat 18th in the Cham­pi­onship be­fore yes­ter­day’s trip to Black­pool but Clark in­sisted: “There was no in­ter­fer­ence at all, one mil­lion per cent, from the own­ers in Hong Kong, the English board, what­ever.

“In fact we had to re­lay the sit­u­a­tion to those people.

“This was a de­ci­sion made by us foot­balling people.

“It was made sit­ting round a ta­ble like I do with all my staff. It was made be­tween all of us.

“The key fac­tor for me is the foot­ball club.We have to kick on.”

Changes: Lee Clark

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