Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Monday March 20 2006
Will he stay or will he go? The long running saga of everyday football managers at Stoke City now appears to be reaching a conclusion.
With the suspension of Director of Football, John Rudge and Assistant Manager, Jan de Koning on Friday night all the signs are now pointing to the board backing Johan Boskamp.
From reports it appears that the club board was split between the English section who wanted to see the pair remain in their roles and the Icelandic controlling interest who wanted Boskamp to remain.
Boskamp is remaining tight lipped other than to reiterate the line that he wants to stay and revealing that he has a meeting arranged with the Chairman and Chief Executive after the match against QPR on Thursday week (23rd March).
According to keeper, Steve Simonsen, the players have said that they are 100% behind Boskamp and want him to stay but were surprised that De Koning and Rudge had been suspended for the second time this season.
From polls we have carried out on Vital Football it is clear that fans are not quite so keen to have Boskamp in charge next season and a majority don’t think he will stay whatever the outcome.
It is still very unclear if Boskamp will stay even if he gets the backing of the board and a new contract. That really is the nightmare scenario, as we would have lost all three key members of the management team at one fell swoop. It is widely recognised that it was John Rudge who brought in Chadwick and Gallagher and Jan De Koning who was instrumental in signing Bangoura. All three players have been crucial to our survival this season. Without them I believe that we would have been battling it out with the likes of Crewe and Brighton at the bottom of the table.
This is a far bigger mess than either the sackings of Gudjon Thordarson and Tony Pulis or the premature departure of Steve Cotterill and has again left this club and its board looking very stupid. With better management this would have been nipped in the bud, instead the Icelandics buried their heads in the nearest snowdrift and hoped it would all blow over.
All I hope for is that it is sorted out once and for all next week and the club can get on and start planning for a more successful and stable season in 2006/07.
Date:Monday March 20 2006
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