Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has sacked Newcastle manager Chris Hughton. After guiding the club back to the Premier League following relegation, rebuilding team spirit and getting the feel good feeling back on Tyneside with thrashings of Aston Villa and Sunderland while picking up away wins against Arsenal, Everton and West Ham, Hughton’s reward was a ‘thanks but no thanks’ from the Newcastle board who released the following statement:
“The board would like to place on record their thanks to Chris for his considerable efforts during the club’s transition from Championship to Premier League club.
Chris has shown exceptional character and commitment since being appointed manager in October 2009. The club wishes him well in the future.
Regrettably the board now feels that an individual with more managerial experience is needed to take the club forward.
The task of appointing a new manager now begins. An announcement will be made shortly regarding transitional arrangements pending the appointment of a successor.”
We are currently in a state of shock and disbelief and more will follow but initially we would like to say:
* Good luck to Chris Hughton – with limited resources and a demoralised dressing room, you have more than exceeded what was expected of you when the club was relegated 2 seasons ago. Rarely one to complain, you have shown a level of humility and respect to colleagues, players, fans and officials rarely seen from managers in English football. You have provided us, the Newcastle fans, with some memorable times, results and easily one of the the most enjoyable seasons of the decade. An absolute gentleman who deserves so much better.
* To the players that gave half hearted and piss-weak performances against Blackpool, Blackburn, Bolton and West Brom – ditto