Bristol City tonight have announced that the club have relieved Dean Holden of his duties as head coach after a sixth successive defeat.
The news comes 80 minutes after the final whistle of Bristol City’s 0-2 home loss to Reading.
Assistant coaches Paul Simpson and Keith Downing will take charge of training, and in a most likely case the match on Saturday at home to Barnsley.
News coming from Ashton Gate was that neither Holden nor any player had come out for media duties after the match.
But was it Dean Holden’s fault or the powers above him?
Now, we can’t say that it is all one persons fault. I know a lot of people, almost everyone online will be saying it is the fault of control freak CEO Mark Ashton, and apparent ‘Chairman’ and son of Owner Steve Lansdown, Jon Lansdown.
Others will say that it is up to the Owner of the club, and he has taken the cheap option once again, proving for the third time in 15, internal appointments do not work.
I firstly want to thank Dean Holden for his time at the club, joining in November 2016 as defensive coach, and then for his time as assistant and Head Coach which could not have been in more difficult circumstances.
If you can remember, he took a lot of flack from fans in the stands, online and on air, with his appointment running parallel with the worst run the club has had in league. The discontent was also heightened when John Pemberton was sacked as assistant coach in 2017, in a period that saw Holden appointed Lee Johnson’s assistant.
The “Long and vigorous process” that took 36 days to appoint Holden as permanent Head Coach was traumatic for many fans. The silence from the club- besides a Steve Lansdown Interview with TalkSport and a less than amusing tweet from Jon Lansdown- was astonishing, proving the unestablished bond between board room and fans was not getting better.
The likes of Paul Cook and Chris Hughton must have been interviewed for the job. Managers who have been there and done that in the Championship. Hell, Hughton has three promotions to the Premier League on his CV.
So why did the club appoint a man with no more than 10 games as an appointed head coach of a football club, with most of his tenures as a caretaker?
Well apparently, Dean is a good bloke.
Well, he is also the cheap option, and whilst he knew is was out of his depth, snapped the hand off of Ashton and Lansdown when offered the job. Wouldn’t you?
Now, we need to talk about our CEO. Mark Ashton, as I called him earlier, he is a control freak. After the sacking of Steve Cotterill, he took 100% of the control of the club’s day to running, and like my Labrador to his chew toy, he has never let go.
This must be one of the reasons a bigger name did not come in. A man like Hughton, Cook or Pearson would need his input into the club taken more seriously than what appeared to honestly be a ‘yes man’ in Holden. They would demand to be the man in greater share of the transfer business and squad maintenance.
Now, putting a man who is clearly out of his depth has not worked. Maybe lets go for someone who has been here and has the experience of the Championship. Sadly, that would mean that Ashton, the perceived egotistical narcissist almost City fans would realistically have to relinquish part of the control he has over the club.
I pray that the right decision for the club is made. We genuinely have a squad good of enough players to challenge for promotion, even if they are all injured. We need someone to come in a get them into shape, as it sadly seems that quite a few have lost what us fan will never, passion for the club.