Charlton Athletic have released the following statement: 'Chris Powell has been relieved of his position as First-Team Manager at Charlton Athletic with immediate effect, the club announced on Tuesday morning Following a disappointing FA Cup exit at the hands of Sheffield United on Sunday, Charlton are currently bottom of the Championship having taken 27 points from 30 games so far this season. Owner Roland Duchâtelet said: “We have been working with Chris Powell and his representatives for a couple ofweeks to try and agree a contract extension which would have seen us continue to work together.
“There was good progress, but we could not reach an agreement over the club’s football strategy going forward. The situation put a strain on the working relationship between Chris and the board. Therefore I think it is best for all parties that we part ways at this stage. I would like to thank Chris for his commitment and hard work over the past three years. The club enjoyed a number of good times under his leadership. However, given the club’s position in the league and the number of important fixtures upcoming, I felt this difficult decision was unavoidable at this time.
“We will look to quickly appoint a replacement who we feel will give us the best chance of avoiding relegation from the Championship. I can assure supporters this was not an easy decision, but it has been made with the club’s future in mind. Time will tell if it is the right decision.”
The timing is unfortunate in the sense that it would have been better to do it earlier or in the summer. However, the literature on changing football managers shows that the long-term effects are generally limited, but there is often a short-term boost as players seek to impress the new manager. However, this may be undermined by a negative reaction from the crowd.
I am assuming that Chris Powell's 'mate' Alex Dyer will go, as well as Jason Euell, but I have no news on their fate. However, Dyer and Matthew took training today, watched by Riga.
My correspondent at the training ground reports, 'First team squad wandered over to watch the U-21s match after training - all seemed in good spirit. Also saw the first appearance of 'Polish Pete' in a red shirt, playing alongside Anil Koc. Good to report that Leon Cort back to fitness and showing well. Sky camera crew at the gate, presumably waiting for 'a few words' with Sr. Riga. [Possibly a 'wind down the window' moment?]
I support the club rather than a particular owner or manager. Otherwise, I would have given up when the Glikstens replaced Jimmy Seed with Trotter. The reaction of fans has been polarised between those who think that Powell was overdue and those who see him as a Charlton legend. Unfortunately, this status and his personal charisma gets in the way of any balanced evaluation of his success as a manager. He is passionate about the club, but I would place success on the pitch before passion.
He deserves our thanks for getting us out of League 1 and achieving a 9th place finish in the Championship last season. Unfortunately, sufficient funds were not available to strengthen the squad last summer, although not all of his hires have been successful (Mark Gower comes to mind). There wasn't a lot of evidence of progression in his skills as a coach and people who know more about football than me and work in the game at a higher level had expressed their concerns to me, given their goodwill towards Charlton.
I am sad to see him go in this way and I wish him well. However, I am pleased that Charlton looks likely to get a foreign manager. Perhaps we will see a more sophisticated style of play with less long ball and more emphasis on passing and keeping possession.