Apr 9, 2014, 7:41 AM EDT
With former Norwich City manager Chris Hughton relieved of his duties just three days ago, the move has had aftershocks elsewhere across the business of the Premier League.
Most notably, the chief executive of the League Manager’s Association Richard Bevan is quite unhappy Hughton was not allowed to complete the season.
“We are all very disappointed for Chris and in particular with the timing of his dismissal,” Bevan said in a statement.
“We must recognize that Norwich City has come a long way in a very short space of time and that just four years ago they were competing in League One. Chris enjoyed an excellent first season in charge by guiding the club to 11th in the Barclays Premier League, which was their highest finish in 20 years.”
Although Hughton was not the man who brought the Canaries up during their meteoric rise through the league ranks – that was now-Villa manager Paul Lambert – he did, as Bevan mentions, lead Norwich to their best Premier League finish since 1993.
In addition, had Norwich avoided the drop this season, it would have kept them in the top flight for a club-record fourth consecutive year.
The timing of the firing is a bit of a head-scratcher whether you’re invested in the well-being of the managers or not.
With Norwich taking on Fulham this weekend, the stage is set for a relegation showdown at Craven Cottage. The Whites sit in 18th place, five points back of Norwich in 17th.
If Norwich beat Fulham it would all but doom the Whites to relegation and save Norwich’s season. Should the reverse take place, with a peek at the clubs’ remaining schedules it could put Norwich in serious danger despite leaving them still two points better.
For Norwich to leave the managerial situation in turmoil before such a crucial match is mind-boggling.
In addition, Hughton himself said he believes he could have steered the Canaries to safety had he been allowed to see out the season.
“”I understand the recent frustrations,” said Hughton in a statement, “but I remained totally confident that we were on course to create history at the club and move into a fourth consecutive season in the Barclays Premier League.”
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