Robins boss calls it a day at Ashton Gate.
Steve Coppell has shocked Bristol City by resigning as manager at Ashton Gate with immediate effect after just one match of the new league season and Keith Millen has been appointed as his replacement on a three-year contract.
The 55-year-old delivered his surprise news to chairman Steve Lansdown on Wednesday and he has also decided to retire from football management, having only taken over at City in April, 112 days ago.
Coppell, who saw his side lose 3-2 at Southend in the Carling Cup on Tuesday after also suffering a heavy 3-0 home defeat to Millwall in the Championship last Saturday, says that he took a long time to make his announcement, but he has not given an explanation.
He said in a statement released through the League Managers’ Association: “It is with the deepest regret that I confirm my departure from Bristol City. I have made my decision after very careful consideration and I believe that it is in the best interests of both the club and me personally that we go our separate ways.”
“Bristol City is an excellent club, with brilliant support and a chairman with great ambition for the club’s future. Whilst I was looking forward to the challenge of leading the players in this season’s campaign, unfortunately, it has become clear over recent weeks, that I found I could not, for whatever reason, become passionate about the role and give the commitment the position demands.
“I appreciate that the timing of my departure is not ideal, but I believe it is best for the club to appoint a new manager or indeed appoint Keith Millen, who has a deep knowledge of the club and the squad, at this stage of the season. That individual can then make decisions on signing players before the window closes and work with the squad for the full campaign.
“I am retiring from football management but still feel I have a contribution to make to the game sometime in the future. I would like to sincerely thank the chairman and the board for their understanding and I wish the club and its supporters every success.” (Sky Sports)
Steve Coppell is one of those managers who enjoys the respect and appreciation of just about anyone who loves the game. He was a great player and has been a successful manager in his various positions but it seems that for whatever reason the 55 year old just didn’t have his heart in the Ashton Gate job. The Robins seem to be going in the right direction having brought in some good signings over the summer including experienced Premier League campaigners likes Nicky Hunt and David James, but the season did not begin well so perhaps that simply served to highlight Coppell’s decision that the job wasn’t for him.
Expect many to put the former Manchester City and Crystal Palace boss in the running for the vacant Aston Villa post but the highly respected boss wouldn’t make a statement such as this and then try to takeover elsewhere, he has far too much class for that.