Clough Sacked – An Utter Shame

Nigel Clough’s sacking last night came as a massive surprise to me. I knew he’d be under pressure after three consecutive defeats but that, no – he should still be the club’s manager.

Rewind to January 2009, the time of Clough’s appointment, when Derby County were simply in a mess. Most of Paul Jewell’s signings were overpaid, uninterested and without a care for the football club – that has changed. Pre-Clough there was less emphasis on producing talent through the club’s youth system – that has changed.

Nigel inherited a minefield of utter mess. Tasked with reducing the exceedingly extortionate wage budget and rebuilding the club, he delivered on all fronts.

I cannot see how anyone can have expected more from him on a very low budget. What he did, including getting the side to play passing, attractive football, with so little is full credit to him and his staff. After years of rebuilding and laying foundations in the academy, I can’t help but feel it is such an utter shame that Nigel Clough has not been able to have a chance to finish off a sublime job after years of graft.

Derby County supporters owe nothing but complete respect to him for the job he has done and the memorable wins that will live long in the memory. Not only is it Rams fans that owe thanks but it is also the players that have and will continue to benefit from the chances he gave them. Where else would the likes of Will Hughes and Jeff Hendrick have been given the chances they have at the East Midlands club? The talent nurtured under Clough’s reign demonstrates his ability to spot talent and not be afraid to take a punt.

After giving him all this time, couldn’t the club have stuck it out a bit longer and gave him more time? He was owed that at least.

I know everything isn’t about presentation but this sacking is questionable. There are whispers that the dismissal was pre-planned after the 3-0 home defeat to Burnley and, irrespective of the outcome of the Brian Clough Trophy encounter yesterday, Clough was a goner. In addition to that, the Daily Telegraph’s John Percy has reported that the news was delivered over the phone.

The son of legendary manager Brian, Clough was given the grim news by chief executive Sam Rush, by telephone, following a conference call with the club’s American owners. Clough had been asked to attend a meeting at Pride Park but demanded to be given notification of his dismissal over the phone, which Rush duly did.

Back in July, Nigel Clough gave a rare interview to a national newspaper. He discussed how he never took his job for granted.

We might be here for two more weeks or two months, you just don’t know. The sack isn’t something we’re worried about because it will happen, if they don’t carry us out in a box first.

Two months was mentioned and his dismissal came just over two months down the line of that being printed.

As of the time of writing, the club are yet to release anything further than the initial statement.

The board feel it is time to move Derby County forward to the next level, which will necessitate a comprehensive review of the club’s football operations.
The ownership group remain steadfastly committed to the club and maintain their desire to compete at the top end of the SkyBet Championship this season.

Vote below and see the results on whether the decision was right or not.

I’ve voiced my verdict on my disagreement with the decision here but, putting that to one side, I will back the new man – I can’t not.

You have been voting in your hundreds on who you think should replace Clough. If you haven’t voted yet, do so below and, if and when you have, see the results.

I would personally love to see Martin O’Neill at Pride Park but I can’t see that happening. Steve McClaren seems the most realistic at this moment in time. It also appears that the club expect to have a new man at the helm in time for Tuesday’s home game against Ipswich Town.

Thank you, on behalf of many, Nigel Clough.

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