SEP 01] THE STUART LINNELL
Gordon Strachan Leaves Sky Blues
Gordon Strachan has left Coventry
around 10.15 this morning, the club announced that they had
parted company with Strachan “by mutual consent”.
His departure follows the Sky
Blues relegation from the Premiership last season after 34 years
in the top flight of English football, but the last straw came
on Saturday, when Strachan’s team was beaten 1-0 by Grimsby
Town at Highfield Road.
The defeat prompted a mass
protest of angry supporters outside the main gates to the club,
preventing the Grimsby team coach and various VIP’s from
leaving for more than two hours after the game ended.
Fans had already mounted a
protest during the game by holding up cards calling for Strachan
and the club’s chairman Bryan Richardson to quit. Director and
Coventry MP Geoffrey Robinson was also a target for the
protestors, some of whom held up cards bearing the slogan “R-R
Out”, referring to Richardson and Robinson.
Speculation has already started
about who the club will now turn to as its new manager, with
George Graham, Joe Royle and Harry Redknapp being mentioned.
Gordon Strachan took over as
manager from Ron Atkinson in November 1996 and has consistently
struggled to maintain any form, while the club bought and sold
several key players.
The departure of Robbie Keane and
Gary McAllister at the start of what turned out to be their
relegation season always left them short of quality and the
arrival of Welsh international John Hartson came too late to
keep them up.
Following their relegation,
Hartson, Moustapha Hadji and Craig Bellamy were all sold, but
the patience of the long-suffering City fans finally ran out
when England Under-21 goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was transferred
to Liverpool last week.
The club now appears to be facing
one of the most difficult periods of its history, with huge
financial debts and a major loss of form and confidence on the
The choice of a new manager could
not be more crucial.