Kelly’s sacking makes it three i in a week...
OLDHAM Athletic sacked manager Darren Kelly after yesterday’s 5-1 defeat at the hands of Peterborough United – and made it a hattrick of League One bosses dismissed in a week.
Ironically, it was Peterborough who got the ball rolling on the sacking front when they axed Dave Robertson last Sunday.
On Tuesday, it was the turn of Doncaster Rovers to act, dismissing Paul Dickov.
Now Kelly’s dismissal, after just four months in charge, means the third tier has lost three managers before the Championship and League Two have got rid of any.
In a statement last night, Oldham said: “The board of directors would like to place on record their thanks to Darren for his contribution to the development of the club during his tenure and wish him well for the future.
“The club will not be seeking any applications for the role of first team manager at this time and can also confirm that all the current coaching staff will remain in their respective roles.”
LAST season the Championship proved the graveyard for managers – this time around it looks like League One could take the unwanted honour.
Of the 42 managers dismissed in the Football League in 2014-15, almost half – 20 – came from English football’s second tier. There were 12 sackings in League One and 10 in League Two.
In the past week, though, three League One bosses have been the first to bite the dust this term – with just a month of the season gone.
Peterborough United manager Dave Robertson was given his marching orders by chairman Darragh MacAnthony last Sunday with Posh lying in 20th place with a record of one win, one draw and four league defeats to their name.
Posh stalwart Robertson, 41, had been appointed caretaker-manager when Darren Ferguson was sacked in February and was then rewarded with the full-time post in May on a three-year contract.
But a slow start to the new season meant Robertson’s tenure was short-lived.
In a statement on the club’s website, MacAnthony said:“Unfortunately after yesterday’s result (a 2-1 defeat at Southend) and the manner of defeat, I felt it was time to take action and make a change as it had become plain to see our young squad was under-performing and playing nowhere near their potential.
“Make no mistake, our players must also shoulder responsibility for this awful start to the season which has now led to a great person losing their job.”
If Robertson’s dismissal was the sign that chairmen were already getting an itchy trigger finger, then Paul Dickov’s exit at Doncaster Rovers two days later confirmed it.
At the time of his axing, Rovers lay 17th in the table with a record of one win, three draws and two defeats. The 42year-old’s final match in charge was last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Gillingham, who went top with the victory.
The match was shrouded in controversy with former Oldham boss Dickov complaining that Jake Hessenthaler’s winner for the Gills had not crossed the line.
In a statement, Rovers said Dickov, appointed in May 2013, had left ‘based on performance to date’ and that ‘the board are ambitious for a top six finish and that is, and will remain, our aim’.
To cap a week of managerial mayhem, Oldham Athletic boss Darren Kelly, 36, was axed last night following a 5-1 thumping at home by, ironically, Peterborough, who had former Northern Ireland international Grant McCann, 35, in temporary charge.
It left the Latics in 19th place in League One with a haul of seven points from seven games. But it wasn’t a major shock that the former Carlisle and York defender was dismissed.
There were whisperings in the week that Kelly was under pressure and he’d said: “All managers are constantly looking over our shoulders and we’re under no illusions as to what is expected of us.”
Three managerial changes so early in the season will no doubt set alarm bells ringing for other bosses up and down the country, especially as none of the trio were even in the relegation zone.
The League Managers’Association are also sure to be concerned that last season’s high number of dismissals could be the start of a pattern set to continue. The number was only exceeded in 2001-02 (53).
In last season’s end of term report, the LMA said: “Short-termism is the one pressure in the game that can be addressed more readily than any of the others and avoiding it will undoubtedly deliver a sport that offers a more stable career pathway for those that want to become coaches and managers.”
While McCann got off to a great start, Doncaster caretaker Rob Jones, 35, saw his side lose 2-0 at high-flying Walsall.
SECOND TO EXIT: Doncaster Rovers boss Paul Dickov FIRST TO GO: Peterborough boss Dave Robertson