COVENTRY City Football Club have today parted with team manager Russell Slade, we can exclusively reveal.
We have learned the club is to announce later today it has parted company with Slade with immediate effect, after a single victory in 13 League One starts.
An announcement over who will replace Slade is expected tomorrow at the latest.
Former Orient, Cardiff and Charlton boss Slade, aged 56, was unveiled as Coventry manager on December 22 last year to replace interim boss Mark Venus, initially until the end of the season.
He was tasked with pulling the Sky Blues clear of the relegation zone, with the team then second from bottom, in 23st place, in League One.
He came in with a reputation for achieving success in the lower divisions on low budgets, and with experience of managing other clubs where there were protests against the owners.
Coventry City are now rooted to the bottom of the table (24th place), 13 points adrift of safety.
A much improved performance in the 0-0 draw at Shrewsbury yesterday followed two crushing blows for the Sky Blues’ League One survival hopes – the 3-1 reverse at home to relegation rivals Swindon last week and a 2-1 defeat at Bury on Tuesday.
With 11 games to play, many fans feel relegation is now all but a forgone conclusion. The team, which began the season under Tony Mowbray without a win in the first ten games, have only won five league games all season.
They would have to win the vast majority of those remaining games under a new manager to avoid the drop to the fourth tier of English football.
Slade’s League record for Coventry City stands at: Played 13; Points 7; Won 1; Drawn 4; Lost 8.
The only positive from a turbulent season on and off-the-field has come in the Checkatrade Trophy, in which Coventry City are going to Wembley for the first time in 30 years on April 2, against Oxford United.
Slade spoke with the Coventry Observer last week about his disappointment over not being able to bring in targeted players in the January transfer window, notably strikers and attacking midfielders who ultimately chose to go to other clubs.
Among the players he did bring in, midfielder Callum Reilly and striker Stuart Beavon have been judged successes by many, but Slade himself last week spoke of inconsistency in the performance of his team, including the defence.
Slade also spoke in an interview with us last week of lacking “the tools for the job”, and he said lots of minor changes needed to be made on and off-the-field to enable the club to move forward on solid foundations.
UPDATED 4pm: Statement published just now on CCFC website..
“The club can confirm that Russell Slade has been relieved of his first-team managerial duties.
“The club will be looking to make a replacement appointment imminently…
“Coventry City FC has today parted company with first-team manager Russell Slade, effective immediately.
“The club would like to wish Russell all the very best for the future.
“A further announcement will follow in due course.”