Nigel Clough, former manager of Derby County and Sheffield United, has stepped down as manager of Burton Albion in a surprise move.
The 54-year-old has spent 16 years of his life with the Brewers, guiding them through the divisions. He left for Derby County but later returned to help them into the Championship for the first time in their history.
After a challenging season in which they were never in relegation danger, but similarly rarely troubling the top six, he’s opted to leave his post, along with brother Simon (chief scout) and long-term assistant Gary Crosby. Their last match as a management team saw them go down 3-2 away at Lincoln City.
The decision has almost certainly been driven by the recent pandemic, with chairman Ben Robinson saying; “Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic is having a dramatic impact on all football clubs, meaning we have to make difficult financial decisions going forward in order to safeguard the club and ensure it still exists for the supporters and the benefit of the community for generations to come.
“At present we have no idea when football will be safe to re-start and whether we will be able to play in front of crowds or behind closed doors, which brings a high degree of financial uncertainty.
“It’s therefore with a heavy heart that after talks with Nigel, Gary and Simon we have agreed that their departure will help us meet these challenges. I want to thank them for all their hard work and dedication over their long association with the club.”
They’ll be succeeded by Jake Buxton, the 35-year-old who has also previously played for Derby County.
Fans have been quick to react to the news, with many wishing Nigel all the best, but seemingly also delighted Jake Buxton has been handed his first chance in football management.
End of an era
— Harry (@Harry89282658) May 18, 2020
Good luck jake hope it’s going to be a great success 👏
— tom jarvis (@TomBAFCjarvo) May 18, 2020
was inevitable, after all JB is a football genius
— JRV-S (@JRVS98) May 18, 2020
Really sorry to hear about Nigel stepping down!
— LJ_Woodward (@MP_HOC1972) May 18, 2020
18th May 2020. It’ll certainly go down in our history… if we have any future for football anyway. I am presuming this is another sacrifice by Nigel. What a shame. Good luck to JB I guess.
— Ash (@ashbrewer19) May 18, 2020
May not be many div1 and 2 clubs around if it's a long job behind closed doors
— suze (@Suzedcfc) May 18, 2020
Jeez well that’s a shocker ! Good luck Nigel and co following your selfless sacrifice
— Optimistic Brewer (@markharden) May 18, 2020