Cotterill and Weld leave Fratton
The news of Steve Cotterill`s departure has not yet been officially announced but Chief Executive David Lampitt has told Sky Sports News that the search for a replacement starts now. 'We are going to take our time and do that properly and make sure we get the right long-term appointment for the football club and somebody who matches the ambitions of the club and the owners` he said adding 'We are not going to rush into that, but certainly that process starts right now.`
Just who will replace Cotterill after just sixteen months in charge is anyone`s guess with no candidates yet to throw their hat into the ring. Names doing the rounds though are Sean O`Driscoll, Dave Jones, Billy Davies, Steve Coppell, David James, Linvoy Primus, Steve McLaren and many more. The like of experienced Premier League managers such as Alan Curbishley, Gordon Strachan and Martin O`Neill can probably be discounted as too expensive for the club still paying off their CVA.
The Pompey Trust have issued a statement thanking Cotts for what he did but in all honesty Steve did a wonderful job last season keeping the club afloat despite all the problems however this season with a squad more like the one he wanted to build, results have been disappointing. The problem really lies with the strike force being unable to scores goals as all of the defeats this term have been by a single goal.
Pressure was beginning to grow from some factions of supporters so perhaps this move is best for all concerned. The club have to move forward quickly now and appoint a new boss, with no assistant manager these chances of promotion within are remote.
Meanwhile one of the quiet men at the club has announced his very well-earned retirement. Paul Weld joined the club back in 1973 as assistant to Club Secretary Jimmy Dickinson and took over from Jim when he took over the reins as manager. Paul will step down at the end of the month.
One of the most loyal and long-serving employees in the history of the club, Paul has overseen nearly four decades of ever-changing fortunes.
Paul has worked through nine changes of ownership, 19 different managers (maybe 20 before he retires), encompassing two periods of administration, four relegations, four promotions, one FA Cup final triumph, one FA Cup final defeat and a season in Europe! He has seen the club sink to the old division four and back up again for two spells in the top flight. To me a fan for even longer he seems to have been at the club for ever.
Paul a lifetime Pompey fan will retire to spend time with his wife and family while continuing to follow the club.
It is sad that such a great club servant should announce his retirement on a day when it will be completely overshadowed by another departure from the club. All at Vital Pompey wish Paul a long and happy retirement.