In the week after he received the full backing of chairman Ron Martin, Chris Powell has been sacked by Southend United.
As the pressure builds in the tightest relegation battle in League One for many years, with thirteen clubs not yet safe from the drop, Powell becomes the second managerial casualty of the week after the dismissal of Stuart McCall at fellow strugglers Scunthorpe United on Sunday.
The Shrimpers have been on a dreadful run of form which has seen them without a win in eleven games and slump to twentieth in the League One table just above the drop zone on goal difference. They have taken only four points from the last thirty-three on offer and were beaten 2-0 at Peterborough on Saturday.
After achieving legendary status as a player at Roots Hall, where he made two hundred and ninety appearances in all competitions between 1990 and 1996, Powell took over as manager in January 2018 and won 24 of his 66 games at the helm.
A statement on the club’s official website said: ‘It is with regret that the club has this morning terminated Chris Powell’s contract.’
‘The results over a number of weeks, 11 games without a win, has impacted all concerned and immediate changes needed to be made.’
‘The club’s interests are paramount, but the board are nevertheless disappointed to see Chris Powell leave.’
‘Head of the club’s highly successful academy, Ricky Duncan, will take temporary charge of the first team squad.’
Southend United fans soon took to Twitter to react to the news with many saddened over the dismissal of a club legend but at the same time in agreement with the board that the decision was probably the right one to take. Here is a selection of their responses.
A week after the chairman backed him!
— Dave Smith (@smudger_d) March 26, 2019
Really sad its ended this way and such a shame it hasn't worked out as every fan had hope but this this is the right decision unfortunately.
— Matt Houghton (@mattysufc) March 26, 2019
100% the Correct decision but I'm so gutted for powell. Such a decent guy and just wanted to see him succeed here.
— Thomas Jacob Newell (@Thomas_Newell01) March 26, 2019
All the best Chris, gutted it didn’t work out. Playing legacy untarnished, still a legend.
— Lee Michaelas (@LeeMichaelas) March 26, 2019
Guess the right decision, maybe too late, but gutted for CP, will always be a club legend on and off the pitch.
— Jonathan Humphrey (@shrimperjon) March 26, 2019
Loved Chris Powell as a player, but this does feel like the right decision, yes he's been unlucky with injuries, but the way we've been playing & strange set up and tactics have been unacceptable. Need to get replacement decision right first time
— Lee Whittick (@shrimperlee) March 26, 2019
Right decision, a real shame it hasn’t worked out. Doesn’t change the fact that he was a quality player for us though. Wish him all the best ?
— Louis Ellison (@Louis_Ellison_) March 26, 2019
Sad it didn’t work out would have loved to see CP succeed but alas it was a disaster.
Hopefully there is time to motivate some players, use them to their strengths and survive this awfully depressing season
— Rich Bayes (@BayesRich) March 26, 2019
Shame, hoped it would work out. Thanks Chris, still a legend from your playing days
— Peter Goodwin (@petergoodwin92) March 26, 2019
Gutted at predicament club is in.
League 2 is dire. We can't go there again. Other teams have and never returned.
— ⚽ MUFC Essex ⚽ (@MUFCEssex) March 26, 2019
Nice guy, but not a good manager.
— Henry Irving (@HenryIrving10) March 26, 2019