If Derby County chairman Mel Morris thought he would adhere himself to the Rams faithful by sacking boss Paul Clement on Monday evening, then he was terribly wrong.
The man enriched thanks to the Candy Crush Saga game which has taken over the world, opted to hand Clement his p45 earlier this week after just eight months in the job.
Clement had overseen a run of seven games without a win, which had seen the Rams fall from top of the Championship down to fifth, but with other teams also suffering blips they remained just five points off the summit.
Let that sink in for a moment. Five points off the top and sacked!
You might say that it’s the culture of modern day football, but to sack a man in his first managerial position who is just five points off the top is frankly idiotic.
You can say what you wish about the money, which Derby have spent this season - £28 million, if we are getting pushy about it – but other clubs have spent money, been on worse runs than Derby and stuck with their managers.
Look at Burnley. Okay so the Clarets haven’t spent the amount of money in one season that the Rams did, but the club has had plenty of chances to sack Sean Dyche.
Relegation from the Premier League being a particular occasion where he could have bitten the bullet, as was earlier in this season when after spending £9million on Andre Gray, they struggled to re-find their feet in the Championship – they now look a solid bet for promotion after sticking with their manager.
Morris said in a statement in the aftermath of Clement’s sacking that promotion was not the main objective this season and that the manager had to buy into the ‘Derby County way.’
The chairman also went onto say that he has no doubt that the Rams have a squad who are capable of playing not only at their current level but also beyond.
So hang on a minute Mel, promotion isn’t the objective despite the fact you have players who, in your words, are good enough to play beyond the Championship.
Anyone sense a man who doesn’t quite grasp the running of a football club just yet?
Whilst I always thought Clement was a calculated risk by the Rams, calculated due to the size of the clubs he had worked for, a risk given his lack of managerial expertise, I cannot help but feel sorry for him here.
If Morris says that promotion was not the objective then what on earth was he doing cashing cheques to the value of £28 million and god knows how much more in wages, to give Clement the players he wanted.
Had the chairman wanted more youth team players to be used he should have told his manager no when he knocked on his door on the August deadline day and asked for Bradley Johnson from Norwich City.
The appointment of Darren Wassall indicates Morris wants to see more youth team players given a chance in my eyes, given the ex-Forest defender’s pedigree with the academy.
If this gives the Rams the shake-up that the players clearly need following their blip then Morris’ decision will have had the desired effect, but there is only a 50% chance that could happen.
In my honest opinion the current slump has hit home to the Derby hierarchy that throwing loads of money on your playing squad doesn’t always have the desired effect in the Championship, causing the chairman to press the panic button in emphatic fashion.
You would think that failure to make the Premier League this season will have serious financial fair play implications on the Rams and thanks to Morris the pressure has just been cranked up ten-fold.
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