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Was Ray Ranson right to sack Aidy Boothroyd?

Slight change in sport, but as a fan of Coventry City I feel the need to write my views on the club sacking Aidy Boothroyd today.

I wasn’t overly impressed with Boothroyd’s appointment at the time, I’m not a footballing snob that expects to see every team play the Barcelona way , but I’m also not a fan of the total long ball game, which is a Boothroyd staple.

A bit of variety yes, with route one used at times, but not 70 yards punts up field into the mixer from your goalkeeper for the whole 90 minutes.

The stats look awful for Coventry City, 10 managers in 10 years or something along those lines. It has been pointed out today in the local press and on the local radio phone-in that this kind of hiring and firing is no recipe for success. I think that goes without saying.

Where I disagree with most Coventry fans though, is on this view that this is a chairman panicking and pulling the trigger. Ray Ranson played football at the top level, he knows sacking a manager every 12 months won’t bring you success.

That’s why I have sympathy with Ranson and believe he was in between a rock and a hard place on this one.

There are constant rumours that the club is up for sale, also that they will go into administration. SISU – a hedge fund who own the football club – are rumoured to have lost interest, the only money they are (apparently) currently putting into the club, is the weekly deficit to keep the club afloat.

For all we, the fans know, Ranson might be fighting a battle behind the scenes to persuade SISU just to continue to back the club.

What chance SISU remaining on board if Coventry go down to Division 1? Add to that the fact that the TV deal in Division 1 is supposed to be £100,000, compared to the current £4M in the Championship.

If this is true and CCFC are struggling to survive as it is, then what chance does the club have if they get relegated? Suddenly the spectre of administration becomes more realisitc.

In some cases it isn’t just as simple as a manger getting fired because he isn’t living up to unrealistic expectations, I believe this to be one of those decisions, one based on other eventualities, rather than just results.

I know this might sound extreme, but Ray Ranson might have taken a decision today that could even affect the future existence of the football club. In getting rid of Boothroyd he might have saved the club from relegation and convinced SISU that the club is worth sticking with.

The decision might also condemn us to relegation, who knows. In a way though, I’d sooner have a chairman who acts, rather than one that sits on his hands and waits for the inevitable.

But even if I was to base the decision on footballing reasons, I think I would still agree with the sacking. 1 win in 16 games, apparently he had lost the dressing room. What choice did Ranson have?

When a manager loses the dressing room he is doomed, if Boothroyd had, then Ranson would be incompetent as a chairman if he had not sacked him.

On the 10 managers in 10 years stat, I believe where CCFC really let themselves down was in the reckless way they went through managers in the 2001-2006/7 period.

They started off sacking managers because they failed to make the play-offs, this is really coming back to haunt them now.

Because of this every time they now sack a manager, even if the manager had, or deserved to go, it just looks like another over reaction and the stat backs that theory up.

Anyway, just to cheer me up I noticed a story about an hour ago that Arsenal are trying to bring back 41-year-old nut job Jens Lehmann on loan until the end of the season, just when Arsenal fans thought things couldn’t get any worse.

Would your cricket loving Buddies enjoy this?


  1. Dean,
    I think Chairmen are very impulsive in their appointments of managers. Because of this, it’s just a matter of time before they have to do the inevitable. I’m a West Ham supporter and keep a eye on football in general and even I would have stayed away from the last two appointments Ranson has made in Coleman and Boothroyd. Both had this image of being good young managers but I’m afraid they were more young than any good. Just looking at their history would have shown that it was just a waste of time appointing them. They were no better than Dowie.

    Ranson seems ambitious guy to me, but it doesn’t seem like he knows how to choose a manager, which is a bit strange for an ex-player. His choices fail, but he gets to keep his job. I also think he was right to get rid of all the last three managers, but he needs a serious think or advice when appointing the next one.

    Whilst you are right he should not get criticised for these tough choices in sacking the managers, we should remember that it is only because of his bad appointments that he has to make them. So as a whole, he should be criticised, I think.

  2. I agree Ranson has to accept the responsibility and criticism if a manager he picks fails.

    He is getting flak for sacking Boothroyd though, people in Coventry are having a go at him for sacking Boothroyd. It’s unbelievable.

    As I wrote above, the clubs owners (SISU) are rumoured to have had enough and are apparently considerng cutting their losses. The club loses £4M a year, we don’t own our ground either.

    So if they leave, who the hell would want to buy us?

    There are also rumours that the club could go into administration or be liquidated if they leave, I know that liquidation sounds a bit extreme, but administration sounds a real possibility.

    I think that’s why Ranson sacked him, he couldn’t afford to take the chance of leaving him in charge and watching the club go down. It could have meant the end of the club, it could all still happen.

    Why fans want to criticise him for that, I don’t know. But by all means criticise him for selecting Boothroyd in the first place.

  3. Out of interest Stani, what do you think of Avram Grunt? (not a spelling mistake)

    In my opinion, I think he will probably keep you up. But with the resources he has, I think he has been a disaster. There is no way West Ham’s players/squad are that bad, to have been bottom or there abouts all season.

    Probably another sacking there this summer, unless he goes on an unbelievable winning run until the end of the season.

    I have a football blog also, – yes, it’s betting related.

    To be honest though, at the moment, I much prefer doing my cricket blog.