There's a bad smell at Brighton

17 May 2013 10:46
It's been another week on the managerial merry-go-round. The big news came at Manchester City but last night came breaking news that suggests Gus Poyet's time at Brighton is coming to an end.

Poyet, like Leicester's Nigel Pearson, saw his side lose their play-off semi-final this week. The amazing end at Watford, brought about by Anthony Knockaert's cheating and Michael Oliver's inept refereeing, saw the Italian franchise go through to Wembley.

Pearson showed some real dignity at the end but, and I'm sure it comes as no surprise, Poyet didn't when his side were beaten by Crystal Palace and Wilfried Zaha.

Not a pleasant experience for visiting players at the Amex

What's happened since at Brighton has been something of a soap opera but you need to read a bit further than the headlines. If Poyet has been touting himself; if Poyet has refused to deal with the retained list then maybe it is understandable that he's been suspended by his club as was the case last night.

But he's been joined on the suspended list by his assistant Mauricio Taricco and coach Charlie Oatway. Without going into too much detail, and certainly without directly suggesting anything has hit the fan at the Amex, there have been strong accusations since the defeat that staff had sabotaged the away dressing room prior to the arrival of the Palace players.

It's kicked off big style, prompted by the Uruguyan who wasn't happy with the happy clappy sticks either. The police could get involved and maybe, just maybe, this latest announcement of suspensions is more than a little connected with the distasteful odour of the events of the week.

So, we'll be going to the ground with the bad smell again next season while we await the final to see which of Palace and Watford make it back to the Premier League.

Not wanting to be outdone by their local rivals, Manchester City stepped up their efforts this week. United had been grabbing all the news with the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson so City, beaten in the FA Cup Final by Wigan, decided on a change themselves.

I don't think anyone with an interest in football was surprised with the news that Roberto Mancini had been sacked and is likely to be replaced by Chilean Manuel Pellegrini. It was enough to force David Platt to walk out leaving Brian Kidd, one of Blackburn's most influential former managers, to take charge for the last two games.

They played at Reading and the City fans chanted for Mancini throughout the game. The usually tiresome drum bashing home fans joined in and chanted for Brian McDermott. It's rare that a manager is sacked by a club despite still being backed by the fans but that's very much the case at both Reading and City.

Another manager who might just be on his way is Southampton's Mauricio Pochettino. Things are clearly not what they should be down at St. Mary's and this week chairman Nicola Cortese has said he is considering his future due to frustrations in the backing he receives from the trust that now run the club following the death of previous owner Markus Liebherr.

Pochettino is ready to go with him. "I would not understand staying in this role if Nicola was not here," he said, or maybe his translator said. "We are on the same wavelength about the club and about the future of the club so it would not make any sense if I was at the club and he wasn't."

Rio Ferdinand has retired from international football. That was a cracking headline this week. Over the last 12 months he's whinged when he wasn't selected, pulled out when he was, and has now told Roy Hodgson not to select him again when I'm sure putting Ferdinand's name on the list was the last thing Roy was thinking of doing.

Thankfully, John Terry squashed rumours of an international recall. Apparently he's too busy taking centre stage on European final nights when he hasn't played.

David Beckham won't be playing for England again; indeed David Beckham won't be playing again after announcing his retirement yesterday. As his old boss took over Sky Sports News last week so he has now. No matter how good a player he was I've seen quite enough of goals scored from the half way line just now.

His former United team mate retired last week, namely Paul Scholes. The only comparison between the two is that Gary Neville got the opportunity to interview them both, but as is his way, Scholes went as quietly as he possibly could. Sky commentator Alan Smith described him as being as good a player as he'd ever seen. No one was disagreeing with him. He'll be a big loss to United.

Football, outside the Premier League at least, is beginning to feel the pinch and clubs, not just ours, are having to cut their cloth accordingly.

This week two Championship clubs and one from the Blue Square Premier League have had to say goodbye to players they can no longer afford to keep.

Paul Caddis, who added himself to the list of those who have fallen out with Paolo Di Canio, left Swindon on loan for Birmingham. He's done well and Birmingham wanted to keep him permanently. They can't, the budget is reduced and Caddis will have to go back to Swindon where at least, for his sake, there is no Di Canio.

It's similar at Charlton. Manager Chris Powell had a dilemma in that he couldn't keep both striker Danny Haynes and central defender and ex-Claret Leon Cort. He's opted to extend Cort's stay at The Valley which means no place for Haynes.

Haynes has missed games with injury and Powell said: "After weighing up all the aspects of the deal, it's with regret that we've reached this decision, and we wish Danny all the best. Some of his goals were outstanding, but we have to take everything into account when considering new deals."

It's similar at Wrexham. They were one game away from a return to the Football League but now find themselves struggling to challenge cash rich Forest Green Rovers. They've lost star player Danny Wright to them and look set to lose Dean Keates too while their hopes of landing Andy Mangan have been dashed due to finance.

They haven't taken it quietly either. Wrexham chief exec Don Bircham spoke out after Forest Green, backed by green energy tycoon Dale Vince, signed Wright. "Forest Green are a village team with a lad with a few bob," said Bircham. "They don't have the pedigree of Wrexham Football Club but they have a benefactor with deep pockets."

Workington, who play in the Blue Square North, are thought to be on the brink and have put it down to the excessive amount of travelling in their league. The club have had to be put up for sale and general manager Alec Graham explained.

He said: "It's tough financially with Conference North having so many southern clubs. Premier League teams, Swansea aside, must travel less than we do, it's cost us around £100,000 these past four years."

Graham said that they play league games against Histon (Cambridgeshire), Bishop's Stortford (Herts) and Oxford City in their league and it is crippling the club.

Finally this week, I thought when I saw the name Preston Haskell IV that one of our local clubs was considering a name change. "It won't be the same without the North End," I said to myself, but this particular Preston is set to move in elsewhere in League One if given the opportunity.

I bet no one needed to ask what nationality he was with the IV at the end of his name, and this particular American multi-millionaire is looking to buy Coventry and half of the Ricoh Arena.

It all depends on administrator Paul Appleton's ruling on the location of the elusive golden share, the club's licence to operate. Haskell requires it to be held by Coventry City FC Limited, the business in administration.

This one is likely to run for some time and no one seems to have a clue where Coventry might play their next home game.

Meanwhile, Burnley's plans to ensure that Turf Moor is owned by the club continue and it is hoped to be completed during the close season. When you see what's happening at places like Coventry, although not for one minute is our situation along those lines, I, for one, will be much happier when the Turf comes back under our control.

Source: Clarets Mad