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Dirty Tackle

Southend sack and replace manager but still want him to coach team through Wembley final

Ryan Bailey
Dirty Tackle

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Former Southend manager Paul Sturrock (Getty)

Former Southend manager Paul Sturrock (Getty)

As a rule of thumb, if a manager is good enough to lead a team to a cup final, it is generally neither necessary nor beneficial to relieve him of his duties right before said cup final.

Southend Utd have thrown the Book of Logic and Sound Reasoning straight out of the window, parting company with manager Paul Sturrock on Sunday. The club, who are six points off the pace of the League Two playoffs (but have won just one of their last six league matches) cite poor form for the decision. Yet the Scottish coach has also lead The Shrimpers to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final at Wembley on April 7th.

Phil Brown — a man who once labelled Andrea Pirlo "homophobic" for not playing outside Italy — was given the manager's job on Monday, and the orange-hued former Hull coach will take charge of Friday's league visit to Bradford.

Brown will not, however, be on the sideline for the Wembley final against Crewe the following week, as Sturrock is expected to return to finish the job he started.

Eurosport quotes Southend chairman Ron Martin's statement about the curious decision:

"The decisions here are [..] driven by the wider interests of Southend United, its success and growth, whilst remaining conscious of what is fair and just.

"These may not be sentiments common to football but it is the way I want this club to be run. For all these reasons I have suggested to Paul he leads the team out and manages them at Wembley. He has earned that privilege and agreed."

Paul Sturrock may have a different interpretation of what if "fair and just", but if he manages to win the club's first silverware since the lowly regional Essex Senior Cup in 2008, it will surely count as one of the more bizarre and unmerited managerial sackings in the history of the game.

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