It does seem surprising that Lee Clark was fired by Huddersfield Town yesterday, with just 16 games to go before the end of the season.
Lee Clark – why was he fired?
We reported yesterday that Lee Clark had been sacked, after doing very well at Huddersfield since he was appointed there in his first management job, in December of 2008.
And indeed if Huddersfield had won their game on Tuesday night at home to Sheffield United, they would have been second top in League One and in an automatic promotion spot.
But of course they didn’t and lost 1-0, and that was only their third defeat in the last 53 games played.
But that record wasn’t good enough for Chairman Dean Hoyle, who sacked the former Newcastle player and coach yesterday, and insisted it wasn’t just based on one game.
But we cannot think if Huddersfield had beaten Sheffield United on Tuesday night, that Lee would still have been fired.
Lee had made a great start to his management career and in 2009 he had Huddersfield 9th on 68 points, the next season he had them in 6th place on 80 points, and then last season he had them in 3rd place on 87 points, and notice they were better each season.
But in both the last two seasons they lost in the play-offs and were not promoted – and if their points average had gone on this season, they would have ended up on 84 points after the 46 games.
Last night Lee issued a statement via the League Managers Association, and he expressed his disappointment with the sacking:
“I am very perplexed as to why I was dismissed as the manager of Huddersfield Town. Needless to say I am extremely disappointed and shocked considering that, with just 16 games left, we are in a such great position to compete for automatic promotion.
“We built on last season’s momentum following the play-off final by creating history in the Football League record books for consecutive unbeaten games. This was an immense achievement by everybody connected with the club.
“I am massively proud of my record with Huddersfield and I enjoyed a fantastic relationship with the players, coaching staff, supporters and indeed everybody at the club.
“I now wish them all the very best for the future and hope they will ultimately achieve promotion this season.”
And this may not be the end of the firing, as Clark is in consultation with the LMA, and one thing that is unknown is what the settlement terms are related to the dismissal.
Former QPR boss Neil Warnock is the favorite to take over at Huddersfield, and it seems that Neil would accept the job if it was offered to him.
The Leeds manager position is open, but the news on that is that the former European Champions League club are looking for a more experienced manager than Lee.
It’s certainly a surprising dismissal, but we have a feeling that Clark will not be long out of a job, as he looks a very promising young coach, who one day wants to manage his home town club, Newcastle United.