The 42-year-old had been appointed in May 2019 and led the London club to promotion into the EFL in only his second full season. Results continued to be positive, with the club only just missing out on the play-offs in the 2021/22 season.
This term again started with promise, as Sutton opened their League Two account with a 5-1 opening day victory at home to newly promoted side Notts County. However, that was their only league win in their first 11 matches.
The U’s suffered their biggest defeat of the season last weekend when Stockport County delivered a demolition job on Gray’s men, culminating in an 8-0 victory for the league leaders, which seems to have been the final straw for the Sutton board.
The side have had more luck in cup competitions under their now-former manager. In 2022, they faced Rotherham United in the EFL Trophy final and looked set to take the silverware back to South London, before the Millers scored a 96th-minute equaliser and went on to win the game 4-2 in extra time.
Even in what has been a very poor season, Sutton have impressed with performances in both the League Cup, in which they got to the third round, and the FA Cup, where they are set to face Plymouth Argyle in round three.
“The Board of Directors at Sutton United has made the extremely difficult decision to part company with manager Matt Gray,” explained a statement on the club’s official website.
“Matt will forever have a large place in Sutton United’s history as the manager who took us in to the Football League for the first time in our 123-year existence, and to a Wembley final and within a point of the play-offs in our first season at this level. However this season’s results have been disappointing and our league position, as we approach the half way mark of the season, led us to decide with great reluctance that a change is necessary,” they added.
“We would like to express our massive gratitude to Matt for the success he has given us during his four and a half years in charge, and for his endless dedication, commitment and hard work in that time, all done with an attitude, passion and energy that made him hugely popular in every area of the club. He will always be welcome at Sutton, and we offer him every good wish for his future career.”