If there was a self-destruct button for Brentford Football Club it was well and truly pushed yesterday when they confirmed that boss Mark Warburton will be leaving this summer, along with assistant David Weir and sporting director Frank McParland.
It’s one thing sacking a manager at the start of the season or halfway through, however, it’s completely baffling to announce that he will leave in the summer yet remain in charge for the rest of the season. It seems to me the Bees – who are currently seventh in the Championship – could end up imploding at the wrong time.
Either the ownership have completely lost their minds or they have got very short-term memories. Are we really discussing getting rid of Warburton who lead the club to promotion from League One after taking charge in December 2013, then guided the team into the play-off places in our first season in the Championship?
For a club to make an announcement at this stage of the season is very odd, to say the least. Brentford are a likable team, who play good football and are making a push for the Premier League.
A manager hanging on after the club has announced he is leaving at the end of the season doesn’t work in football. It kills the team spirit and unfortunately, affects the whole team performance. Yet, we shouldn’t be so surprised. This isn’t the first time a manager has been announced to leave midway through the season.
Southampton might not have pushed Gordon Strachan to not extend his contract back in 2004 but they still confirmed in January that he would no longer be manager of the club beyond the end of the season. Strachan resigned a month later, despite a successful reign previously. But the announcement seemed to have had a knock-on effect on the pitch that forced him out three months earlier than originally planned.
This was also detrimental to Rangers in 2006 when it was revealed Alex McLeish would leave at the end of that campaign and they went on to win nothing that season. It was a similar situation with Walter Smith in 1997/1998. The Gers legend was a relentless force until they announced he would also be leaving at the end of the season and that set a spanner in the works as it became the first time in a decade that the club had won nothing.
Unfortunately for the dedicated Brentford fans, it could well be the end of their season now. Southampton couldn’t see a future with Nigel Adkins in the Premier League after two successful promotions but at least they were ruthless and put Adkins out of his misery then and there. They didn’t keep him hanging on for the rest of the season.
It makes you question as to why clubs feel the need to ruin their season midway through by making such announcements, even if they are pushing for a place in the play-offs. The fact is Warburton doesn’t deserve to be sacked and you really couldn’t blame him if he wanted to walk away before the end of the season. It has been a successful two years for the former city trader and it won’t be long until another club snaps him up. The question now is how will the fans react to this? And who do Brentford have lined up as a replacement?
Who do you think will be enlisted as Warburton’s replacement? Will the move dent Brentford’s play-off hopes?
Read more from Rebecca Coles here!