The Strange Case Of Lee Clark’s Sacking By Huddersfield

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.

Comments welcome.

41 comments so far

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #1

    If only Pardew played HBA…

    ….Clark would have kept his job

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #2

    ….we would have world peace

  • gaz 44

    Feb 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #3

    hope he gets the Leeds job.. puts him in good stead for toon job after all they have a tighter owner than us

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #4

    seriously though…Seems like an odd one by Huddersfield to me. However, fans seem to be saying it was a long time coming…apparently spent lots of money and not really improved them too much. Doesn’t tie in with what I thought i’d read previously…..but I didn’t follow them closely

  • rotherschild

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #5

    Had Warnock remained manager of QPR then Lee would still be manager of Huddersfield.

    Hoyle got rid of Lee to make way for Warnock. Watch this space I hope Warnock tells Hoyle to “sod off”

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #6

    I think notice should be taken of the Huddersfield fans.
    If they are saying its been a long time coming then fair do’s.

    The Toon fans got slated for driving Fat Sam out but when you’re on the inside and watching his tactics week in, week out, then it was the right decision IMO .

    It was the appointments after that which were wrong. :-/

  • gaz 44

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #7

    they have become a bit stale lately not just in results which haven’t been bad but alother of draws but there play seems to be just look for Rhodes.. if can’t get to Rhodes go back

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #8

    Troy…Listen to the Huddersfield fans? Don’t be silly….they sacked a Geordie! Bast*rds! 🙂

    In response to your post on the previous thread regarding Perch…completely agree…criticism comes with being a professional anything. It’s up to you to deal with it and show everyone what you’re made off. I do think he’s done an ok job at times and deserves credit for stepping in when asked when he clearly isn’t a first choice player.

  • martoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #9

    You never know what is going on behind the scenes. He could have had several blazing rows with the chairman. If you did that with your boss he would want rid of you too.
    It will be interesting if he does proceed with his claim for unfair dismissal because I can’t recall a manager doing that before. Of course that could be detrimental to his future job prospects.

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #10

    So formation for Wolves next weekend…


    Simpson – Willo – Collo – Santon


    Cabaye – Guti


    Ba – Cisse

    Or perhaps put Cabaye back with Tiote, drop Arfa back with Guti and push them both out a little.

    Go attack Wolves from the start. If it’s not working as planned, change the formation a bit and pack the midfield.

    Arfa – Cabaye – Tiote – Guti – Ba


    If that still isn’t working we have Raylor, Perch, Obertan, Guthrie etc to come on and offer something different


  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #11

    P.S. Yes, I want the team to line up from the left hand side of the field…trust me its fool proof…who uses the right side of the pitch? 🙂

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #12

    Except maybe Krul….not sure how much use he is hanging out by the corner flag

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #13


    Good to find someone who answers posts. I’m new to this blog and it seems like chaos at times with many different subjects being discussed simultaneously.

    I’m just weighing up who are the sensible posters and those who are all over the shop. It will take a couple of weeks but I’ll get there.

    I still find it strange tho about the H’field fans as they apparently play attractive football but if you don’t improve season on season then it may have been the right time to part company.

    It’s easy to criticise from the outside without known the facts.

    But you’re right! The b@st@rds!!
    Sacking a Geordie!!

  • davybtoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #14

    Hba debate is boring we all kno he shud b playing but he’s not a striker or a ryt winger, he is best on the left wing, my biggest concern is what’s he doin about getting in the team when obertan, jonas, fergie n rtaylor get in ahead of him u hav to question his attitude

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #15

    Troy…the blog can be interesting at times. The real bloggers will become clear pretty easily!

    As I said…haven’t really followed them too closely, so don’t have too much constructive input….but from the outside it looks odd to say the least. I know they want promotion…maybe it’s as simple as they just don’t see him as the man to take them any further forward. Let’s hope they can keep Rhodes as he seems to be the main player taking them anywhere

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #16

    Davy….I thought we had moved on from the “debate which shall not be named”?

  • Toon_Tom

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #17






  • toonincheek

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #18

    Problem is – the true situation is all shades of grey but different posters take extreme views.

    Not surprising, I suppose, that Toon fans see everything as Black and White.

  • davybtoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #19

    I personally don’t know what most fans r moaning about r season has been brilliant the fans who think we shud being winning the league coz we hav 52,000 fans r deluded

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #20


    I’m probably going to get shot down for debating the Barfa issue with you but cos I’m new to this site Im sure I will be forgiven.

    I’m confused why you say that we all know he should be playing.

    There is no doubting he is a unique talent with more ball skills than the entire team put together. But he has struggled to impose himself on the games hes played. He has pulled a bit of magic out the hat a few times but if you analysed his entire performance in each game he provides little to the overall teams performance.

    I still believe its down to match sharpness and he is trying to do too much out of frustration which is counter productive for him.

    If he could start by doing the simple things first and let the difficult things naturally evolve into his game.

    Anyway, just to try and fit in. “I hate this Barfa debate! Stop talking about it!”

  • toonincheek

    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #21

    Troy – I think that’s the general view but as HBA has so much to offer, some fans think he should play every game.

    Me – I can see why he is not played in every game, but I don’t like to see him judged on the last few games when we have been dominated and our strikers haven’t been good enough for him to feed.

    Maybe he needs a few more games to develop a slightly different style to suit the Premier – he’s certainly got the skill to do that so I hope he gets a few more chances.

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #22

    Lol @ Troy….

    Why oh why?

    I think most people’s point with HBA is that players like Obertan have been given a good run of games to prove themselves whereas if Benny plays badly for say one half he’s automatically benched again…which for a player with such potential seems shall we say unfair

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #23

    Davy….agreed….i’m really happy with this season. I think we’ve got more than we could have asked for. There are certainly a lot of teams in worse trouble than us right now

  • giimps

    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #24

    Barfa hasnt had the chance to play alongside a proper defensive midfielder and 2 quality strikers at the same time.
    He has either had Poor quality in front so nowhere to play the ball to, or poor quality behind so has to hold onto the ball.
    More often than not, he has had both.
    If Ba Cisse and Tiote are on the pitch, it should give him a bit space/confidence that any sliderule pass will be picked up and utilised.
    If he tries and loses the ball a couple of times, he knows Tiote is behind to get it back so less pressure.
    IMHO anyhoo

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #25

    Perfect….it seems we all agree to some degree on Arfa…is it safe to say we can discuss something else now?

  • duncandisorderly

    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #26

    Come on guys, isn’t somebody going to slag this Troy guy off for some random reason?? haha 😉

  • ParisToon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #27

    Mr Troy – Agreed the HBA debate is past it sell by date, we are all in agreement and sadly there are some who keep on.
    On the subject of Lee Clarke, big loss by Huddersfield another example of a chairman deluding himself that someone else will do a better job?
    As far as unfair dismissal case, King Kev did OK?

  • GeordieDan

    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #28

    I’m hearing that Steve Bruce is the front-runner for the Wolves job.

    PLeeeeeeezzeee let it be so. 3 pts guaranteed next week. 😀

  • Troy Stavers

    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #29


    Sorry fella. Just testing the water. It’s clearly a touchy subject on here.

    Whats your views on our style of play as the season has developed ?

    We started off playing one touch football, triangles and frustrated the opposition by keeping the ball.

    We now seem to get frustrated ourselves by not being able to retain it. It’s been like that since the Man Utd game. Clearly Tiote for me, is absolutely essential to our team. I know when there was speculation that he would be sold in January, many were saying that of all our players he was the one who was the most easily replaceable.

    I was thinking the same, but since he’s been away, it’s evident now that hes a player more valuable to us than a high transfer fee.

    What’s your views lads?

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #30

    Troy….I think I touched on style of play earlier to you. Along the lines of loosing Saylor etc, Pardew has taken fewer risks therefore sacrificing the style of play and being less adventurous.

    As for Tiote…he’s a brick sh*t house that stops all that comes his way. I’d be gutted to see him go. However, if a silly offer comes in for him, then he will likely go. Would I take say £25m for tiote knowing we still have cabaye and guthrie….probably. With the way we’re buying these days we could do well with the money…however I would ideally like to keep the beast

  • jimmymagpie

    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #31

    I like Ben Arfa, but I have a feeling that he may not be here next season. There have been whispers for a while now that he doesn’t like the city or the region, and he returns to Paris or Tunisia at every opportunity, unlike the other French lads who have made great efforts to fit in and get to know the area. I do know that Pardew was very disappointed that he ducked out of the Tenerife trip, and he’s not the easiest to handle.

  • wynsleap

    Feb 16, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #32

    GeordieDan @ 28
    I don’t think that would necessarily be a good thing. A new manager usually brings a revitalised performance from his new team who are all playing hard to impress him.
    jimmymagpie – like nearly everything else you say that would make sense about Ben Arfa.
    It is only to be hoped that if he does leave he doesn’t take a bad taste about the club and the area back with him as we were led to believe he was quite instrumental in promoting the Toon to the French media, League and its players.

  • jimmymagpie

    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #33

    Wyn – I think he was genuinely appreciative of the way the club treated him when he was injured, and for the support of the fans, but he doesn’t appear to have settled, from what I’m hearing, and of course, with his ego, he thinks that he should be playing every week.

  • GeordieDan

    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #34


    That’s going to happen anyway-they will have a new manager, regardless of who it is.

    I’d rather it be a clueless, hopeless one like Bruce. Simple as that. Can you imagine him playing his 1st game against us?

    He’ll 5hit himeself, again, and the point are ours, again.

  • Stardust

    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #35

    Careful folks – Troy likes to dominate conversations, he likes to control the threads and make it all about him, he has been banned by other blogs many many times, he is the ultimate WUM – answer him at your peril.

    You will notice from last night he has been begging for responses, this is since he self excluded himself from another blog as the bloggers criticised him – and leaving was his only way left (rather than apologise)

    Beware Troy.

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #36

    Stardust…are you for real? Yes he seems eager for a response….but generally he has seemed interested in reasonable debate

  • Stardust

    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #37

    Careful what you wish for Ibiza you have been warned

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #38

    Stardust…I wasn’t wishing for anything…just looking for some further info

  • Stardust

    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #39

    He is a good friend of mine Ibiza – lets say I know him and what he does:)

  • Ibizatoon

    Feb 16, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #40

    Thanks Stardust…I shall be on guard 🙂


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