Premier League Leicester City have dispensed with the services of boss Nigel Pearson, who guided the Foxes to an extraordinary great escape from relegation last season.
The decision has shocked the football world, especially after the Foxes performances at the end of last season.
The reason cited for his sacking was the breakdown of the working relationship with the clubs owners. The Foxes issued a statement explaining the Pearson’s exit. Here is an extract of that statement:
“The board of directors recognises the success Nigel has helped to bring to Leicester City during his two spells in charge of the club, particularly during the last three and a half years.
“However, it has become clear to the club that fundamental differences in perspective exist between us. Regrettably, the club believes that the working relationship between Nigel and the Board is no longer viable.
“Leicester City’s owners, Vichai and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, and the board of directors would like to place on record their thanks to Nigel for the considerable contribution he has made during his time with the club and wish him well in the future”.
Leicester’s main aim for last season was simply staying in the Premier League. For much of the campaign it looked like they were going to fail in their attempts for survival. Pearson’s side looked doomed for the drop, as they were bottom of the table for 100 days.
However, the side from Midlands hit a red hot spell of form at the end of the season, winning seven out of their last nine games and finishing in 14th in table. Survival in those circumstances was incredible.
Pearson had been in charge of the Foxes for three-and-half years, winning promotion from the Championship in season 2013/14 and then masterminding the Foxes great escape last season. However it was not all plain sailing for Pearson and the club.
Pearson is a volatile character and last season experienced a number of controversial incidents. It is doubtful that he courted controversy, but got into trouble for calling a reporter an ostrich, swearing at a supporter and having a touchline altercation with Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur.
The fact that Pearson’s son James was sacked by the club for a controversial incident on the Foxes tour of Asia probably did not help the situation between the two parties either.
Despite the often controversial behaviour of last season, the 51-year-old seemed to have the support of the majority of the Leicester supporters. The Foxes fans obviously saw Pearson as the man to take the club forward and he did.
Unfortunately it seems that the experienced boss and the Leicester hierarchy were not on the same page. Obviously we do not have all the details of what went on, but looking from the outside in it seems a strange decision.
There seems to be a trend in modern day football of bosses losing their jobs, despite achieving relative success with clubs before falling out with club owners. Bosses seem to be safe in their job, but then scenarios behind the scenes cause trouble and all of a sudden they leave their clubs.
It will be vital for Leicester to find the right replacement for Pearson this summer. The Foxes gathered some good momentum at the end of last season and it would have stood them in good stead going into the new campaign.
The change of boss may change that momentum, as a new boss will bring a new philosophy and ideas, which he will take time to convey to his players.
The dismissal of Pearson will obviously lead to doubts over whether Leicester will survive in the top-flight next season. The key to the Foxes survival next season will be the identity of their next boss.
The wrong appointment could mean the club from the Midlands heading back to the Championship. Leicester are currently odds of 3/1 to return to the Championship next season.
Unless Leicester’s owners have a new boss lined-up then the club will be in limbo. The Foxes owners need to act quickly in appointing a new boss to give him time to acclimatise to the club, players and strengthen the squad this summer.
The decision to dispense with Pearson was a surprise, but only time will tell if the decision will be of detriment to the team’s chances of maintaining their top-flight status next season.
Were Leicester right to sack Nigel Pearson?