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A message to supporters from Coventry City Football Club Chief Executive Steve Waggott

23 February 2015

Chief Executive Steve Waggott has issued the following message on the dismissal of manager Steven Pressley this morning...

It hasn’t been a pleasant few days. While football clubs are sometimes labelled as being ‘trigger happy’ when it comes to letting managers go, that’s not the way I operate.

As a man, Steven Pressley is an honest, genuine, and very hard-working football person and I have got on with him brilliantly over the past two years.

There is a long-term plan here at Coventry City that means creating a clear pathway from academy, through development squad and into the first team, complemented by experienced professionals, and he absolutely bought into that. 

In terms of that long-term plan, Steven’s work and achievements should be acknowledged because we are in better shape from that point of view thanks to him and the staff around him.

Similarly, Steven’s efforts in maintaining our League One status last season in the face of possibly the toughest 12 months in Coventry City’s history has to be recognised.

But, in football, the performances and the results of the first team are always under scrutiny as it is effectively the first-class carriage that pulls along everything else the football club does.

So while you always want to look long-term, you have to take a view of the shorter-term too and with no League win at home since October, a slide into the bottom four in League One, what happened in the FA Cup, we came to the very difficult decision that it was time for a change.

We wish Steven nothing but the best for the future and place on record our thanks for his efforts.

I know the question will be raised about the ‘backing’ he has had from the club but our budget (money spent on players’ wages both permanent and loan) is up there in the top six for this division. 

Whether you pay a fee for a player or not, most agree that the squad we have here is good enough to be challenging for the top six, and successive visiting managers have pointed out the quality of our playing staff.

We’ve restructured the squad over the last two summers and have supported Steven in allowing players to leave because they didn’t fit into the way he wanted to play at those times, and brought in players that met his requirements.

I hear it said quite often that we won’t get anywhere with kids from the academy, loans and free transfers, but I don’t think many were thinking that when they saw how well Swindon played against us here a few weeks ago – and that what was pretty much the make-up of their starting eleven.

Paying a fee isn’t the key at this level, it’s getting the most out of your budget that really counts and I think we can all agree that we haven’t done that in the past year. Steven, himself, has said as much. 

So what now? We will not rush a permanent appointment because it’s a decision that requires a fulsome process to try, if possible, to avoid this situation in another two years.

In the meantime, Neil MacFarlane and Dave Hockaday will take temporary charge of team affairs.

Above all, I want supporters to rest assured that this decision has been made with the best interests of the club at heart in order to move us away from the bottom four as soon as possible.

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