Lee Clark is not the best manager in the world but he is human and I was saddened by some of the online comments about his sacking. I know how bad I felt when I lost a job I loved; it would not have made it any easier if people had been dancing in the streets because I’d gone. So, before I write anything else, I’d like to thank him for his effort and commitment, and wish him all the best in the future. I’m glad that others have been sending him supportive messages via his son’s Twitter account.
I have no idea if a change of manager will improve results in the long run or not. There is often a new manager effect that improves results at first but that doesn’t always last. I remember what happened when Terry Cooper left and Barry Fry came. Terry Cooper managed Birmingham City during the early 90’s and helped the club gain promotion from the third tier. He also endured a difficult few months when the club was in administration. He resigned after a run of bad results. Sullivan and Gold brought in Barry Fry to replace Cooper and I can remember the rejoicing among fans at his coming. It felt like a revival meeting at St Andrew’s for his first home game in charge. We won 1-0 and, from memory I think we were lucky to get the win, but the crowd were delirious as though they believed that all our troubles were over. They weren’t; we lost to Kidderminster in the FA cup three weeks later and were relegated back down to the third tier at the end of the season.
Given the results, it was probably inevitable that Lee Clark would go. But I think we need to remember that it is the ownership shambles, not the manager, that is the main threat to the future of our club. Lee Clark may not have been the best possible solution to the problems stemming from the ownership situation but he wasn’t the cause of those problems.