Through a 16 year stretch managing in the Football League — including 4 different stints in charge of Crystal Palace — former England international Steve Coppell’s has a mostly solid leadership history, one of the few exceptions being his decision to leave Manchester City after a mere 6 games in charge in 1986. Tuesday, Coppell topped that exit interview by quitting Bristol City after just two matches, writes the Guardian’s Evan Fanning.
“It is with the deepest regret that I confirm my departure from Bristol City,” Coppell said in his statement. “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.
He acknowledged that the timing of his decision, following a 3-0 home defeat to Millwall and a Carling Cup exit at Southend, was not ideal. He will be replaced as manager by his assistant Keith Millen, who has signed a three-year deal.
“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.”
Coppell’s announcement comes on the heels of Martin O’Neil walking out on Aston Villa just a week before the start of the 2010-11 EPL campaign.