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Former Blues Defender McGreal Sacked By Colchester
Tuesday, 14th Jul 2020 09:41

Former Town defender John McGreal has been sacked by Colchester United despite taking them into the League Two play-offs.

The U’s finished sixth in the table after clubs voted to curtail the 2019/20 season but were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Exeter City in the play-off semi-finals.

In a statement chairman Robbie Cowling explained the decision: “Colchester United are seeking a new first-team head coach.

“I spoke with John McGreal on Friday 3rd July to explain that the club is going to be implementing a new plan that will see the first team being even more tightly aligned to the academy and that I along with my three other directors, Tony Humes, Tony Ashby and Jon De Souza, felt a change of first-team head coach was required if our new direction was to be successfully implemented.

“This was a very tough decision for a number of reasons, but not least because John has been first-team head coach for the last four years.

“This last season has been one of the club’s best seasons for a number of years and John should be very proud of his time in charge of the first team.

“However, the club is not only facing a number of unprecedented challenges but also some unprecedented opportunities and myself and the other directors believe significant changes are required that will be best served with a new head coach.

“John has done a great job for Colchester United and I wish him well for his future.”

McGreal, 48, who last week was linked with the management vacancy at Tranmere, from whom he joined the Blues ahead of a five-year spell at Portman Road in 1999, was appointed by Colchester in May 2006. He took charge of 203 matches, winning 76, drawing 55 and losing 72.

Elsewhere, ex-Town midfielder Matt Bloomfield lifted the trophy after Wycombe Wanderers beat Oxford United 2-1 in the League One play-off final at Wembley last night to claim a place in the Championship for the first time.

The 36-year-old, the club captain, was subbed at half-time for the Chairboys, who he joined after leaving the Blues in December 2003.

Bloomfield, who made one senior sub appearance for Town in the League Cup having come through the Blues youth set-up, has spent time coaching Town academy players in recent seasons.

Photo: TWTD

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herfie added 09:54 - Jul 14
Surprising. Thought he’d done well, and was gaining the experience of getting the most out of a squad inevitably operating on limited resources. However, perhaps more ‘behind the scenes’ reasons for his departure than is in the public domain.

Feel sure he’ll be picked up fairly quickly. Perhaps, in the longer term, a potential Town manager.

BlueandTruesince82 added 09:59 - Jul 14
Strange given how consistent they have been under him..... really odd sacking

ThaiBlue added 10:11 - Jul 14
Very harsh,dont think he deserved that.

TractorCam added 10:11 - Jul 14
Majority of Colchester fans seem to think this is the correct decision.

Pencilpete added 10:12 - Jul 14
Just shows other clubs have higher standards than us and nobody else would just shrug their shoulders and carry on with the abject failure of this season other than us. Coming 11th in a league we were expected to win is nothing short of pathetic

trncbluearmy added 10:12 - Jul 14
Funny old world, does a decent job at colwho, nearby a club with far greater resources is a complete shambles and the manager gets rewarded with a 5 year contract

ChrisR added 10:18 - Jul 14
He could not possibly do any worse than Hurst or Lambert . At least he would know all about lower league players such as we have been stuck with at PR.

runaround added 10:54 - Jul 14
Seems like a very harsh decision to me & one which could well end up biting Col Who on the backside. I was half expecting him to become our next boss but if the vacancy at Tranmere is still available then think he might end up there

JamestownPrince added 11:27 - Jul 14
I was talking to a mate from the Wirral last week (Evertonian but follows Tranmere) and his mate who is a Tranmere Season Ticket - They thought McGreal would be high on Palios list and McGreal would jump at moving back to the area.

I said it would be a "no go" if Cowling wanted compensation as Tranmere can't afford it at the moment - I wonder if Cowling was awaiting Tranmere offering compensation first?

I wonder if Tony Humes will take over at Colchester?

Terry_Nutkins added 11:29 - Jul 14
Its odd how people talk about him as a possible for the Ipswich job. Based on what? He has done very little in management. Literally the only thing is he has played for Ipswich which is a mental reason to recruit.

Wish him well and hope he gets a good gig. Tranmere would be ideal. Reading between the lines i think there has been a bit of a falling out over the future direction.

Len_Brennan added 12:08 - Jul 14
Good luck to John McGreal, I hope he gets a new job quickly.

As for the second part of article; that's Coventry, Rotherham & Wycombe that got promoted out of our league this season - it really was there for the taking for us, as none of those 3 sides were expected to fill those spots (Rotherham outside shot I guess).
So next season, even if we get our act together, we'll have Portsmouth, Sunderland, Oxford, Peterborough, Doncaster & Fleetwood to contend with again and nearly all of whom improved greatly as the season went on, unlike us. Then we'll have the 3 come down - Luton, Barnsley & Wigan perhaps. We can also assume that someone like Gillingham will get off to a flyer & hang in there and at least one of the sides coming up will be playoff contenders.
Yep, we blew a great chance this season!

MattinLondon added 12:15 - Jul 14
Seems like a long winded way of saying that they need to cut costs.

How come ‘next’ season is always going to be tougher? If each division was always tougher year-on-yeast, the Conference South would be Champion League standard by now.

BlueBlood90 added 12:16 - Jul 14
Surprised by the decision to sack him. Did a very reasonable job there.

I can see Wayne Brown taking over from him. He's done a very good job with Maldon & Tiptree in the Isthmian and he used to be U23 manager at Col U.

LWNR2013 added 13:03 - Jul 14
Sign him up (TIC)

Pencilpete added 13:17 - Jul 14
Terry Nutkins - not sure how you can say he hasn't got the credentials to manage us yet offer his services to Tranmere ..... sadly we are both Mid Table league one clubs the only difference is that 3 years ago Tranmere were in the Conference and we were in the Championship so they have at least shown some ambition and improved whereas we have continued our slow and steady decline which has been accepted by everyone at our club other than the fans

runningout added 13:36 - Jul 14
Choosing a manager/coach is guess work whether it’ll work out. Only 5 or 6 managers in the whole game seem certainties for good fortune. Who knows Paul Lambert might pull it out of the bag very soon

Lukeybluey added 14:08 - Jul 14
Just seen Akinfenwa has been released. Wouldn't mind seeing him in a town shirt for a season.

BlueandTruesince82 added 14:17 - Jul 14
Akinfenwa is top player in L1.... getting on now but would be a handy option. Insane the whole career has been spent in lower leagues. I'd take him on a years contact... great impact option to have.

TBH I'm looking for just 1 signing that says we mean busisness next year... like Big Jim was. Like Legwinski was... not a marquee per se but that player who will lift the club.

Thats what Jim did, came in and demanded more and better from everyone.

Not sure Akinfenwa is that man but he will bring a physicality that we lacked last year.

londontractorboy57 added 14:45 - Jul 14
Realy looking forward to supporting my local team next season whenever that might be,sick to the craw of EFL at the moment its taken some time and thought to give up my season ticket after 45 years.

Wooly74 added 14:49 - Jul 14
Apparently (and this is how the press release reads as well), the owner wants to continue down the youth route blooding them into the first team, John on the other hand wanted funds for two to three missing players of experience and quality. With what Col U have lost under the pandemic there was only ever going to be one winner. Mix this with the fact that Tranmere are on the look out for a new manager as they attempt to climb back out of league 2 at the first attempt, have money to spend on limited additions and it being Mcgreals old stomping ground???

My guess, is that he will be interviewed and accept the TR position within the next two weeks.

Watch this space.

BlueandTruesince82 added 15:46 - Jul 14
I'd agree Wooly. Be amazed if hes not back in the land of the Scousers by end of the month

blues1 added 16:42 - Jul 14
Pencilpete. Where have you been the past few months. Us and tranmere are both mid table lge1 sides? Which is why they're in lge1 next season then I guess.

blues1 added 16:46 - Jul 14
Seems quite clear that his sacking is due partly to a disagreement over the future direction col utd wish to go in, and likely a financial decision as well. Would expect, the way the statement is worded, that they will appoint from within. Or maybe Wayne Brown, who I'd think would cost less than Mcgreal. If hed want it of course.

jas0999 added 17:47 - Jul 14
Bottom line is John was brought in to achieve promotion. He didn’t do so and in football terms it’s a failure. It’s very harsh on the guy, but in modern football that’s the way it is at the vast majority of clubs. Clubs ant success. Sadly, at ITFC failure is rewarded with a new bumper contract and then folk wonder why the club continues to decline under the current ownership.

Fatboy added 18:19 - Jul 14
*May 2016.

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