Pompey sack Guy Whittingham as manager
Tuesday November 26, 2013 3:00 PM Fratton Park, Portsmouth, England (map)
The 49-year-old took his press duties as normal around 1pm today ahead of the fixture with Southend.
However, within hours he was dismissed after a board meeting headed by chairman Iain McInnes and chief executive Mark Catlin.
Backroom staff Steve Allen, David Connolly, Dave Coles, Alan McLoughlin and Andy Awford were later called to Fratton Park when the news was delivered to staff.
Whittingham has paid the price after four successive defeats saw the Blues knocked out of two cup competitions and slip to 18th in the table.
Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to Scunthorpe was met with boos and chants of ‘That was embarrassing’ from the Fratton faithful.
Former fan favourite Whittingham took over at Fratton Park last November but managed only 11 wins in 51 games.
The club currently lie 18th in the League Two table having lost their last three league matches, including a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Scunthorpe United on Saturday.
A statement on the club's official website said: 'Portsmouth Community Football Club regret to announce that, following a meeting with the chairman, CEO and finance director, Guy Whittingham has today left his post as manager after his contract was terminated
'The club wishes to place on record its sincere gratitude to Guy for his service to the club during difficult times.'
Whittingham took over as caretaker manager at Fratton Park in November 2012 following Michael Appleton's departure to Blackpool before being appointed the club's permanent manager in April of this year.
The 49-year-old scored 99 goals in 173 appearances during his playing days with the south coast club, including a record of 42 goals in the 1992/93 season as Pompey missed out on automatic promotion to the Premier League on goals scored.
An early favourite for the South Coast job is former Gillingham boss Martin Allen.
In the meantime, academy boss Andy Awford will take caretaker charge for Tuesday's home clash with Southend and will be assisted by first-team coach Alan McLoughlin and striker David Connolly
Guy Whittingham was caretaker manager of Football League One side Portsmouth from November 2012 to April 2013. He became permanent full-time Portsmouth manager on 24 April 2013.
Guy Whittingham was given the Caretaker Manager job with Pompey together with Andy Awford as his assistant following the departure of first team manager Michael Appleton, who has bagged a job with Championship side Blackpool.
The pair of them sit alongside each other in Pompey’s Hall of Fame. Now Guy Whittingham and Andy Awford are serving together as the Blues’ managerial team. The duo will take charge of Pompey at Bury on Saturday. Awford was asked to step up from his job as Academy manager to assist stand-in boss Whittingham in first-team duties.
The duo established themselves as Fratton favourites whilst playing in the same teams together. And for Whittingham, there is no-one better to serve as his right-hand man. He said: ‘Myself and Trevor Birch sat around a table and, considering the state of affairs at the moment, it had to be done in-house. ‘It was just felt we needed somebody alongside me with the football knowledge that Awfs has got. ‘Ultimately, it will be my call, but you are always open to persuasion and people see different things when you are looking at solutions. ‘I am looking forward to it. Me and Awfs are similar on our philosophy of football, anyway, having played under Jim Smith.
‘We have talked lots of times since we’ve been back at the club together. ‘We’re good friends so that helps. ‘Part of being good friends is making sure you tell each other what you think – and we’re open enough and honest enough to do that.’
Whittingham, who is nicknamed Corporal Punishment, due to his position in the army during his days with Yeovil, has been Pompey's Development Coach since January 2009, having previously held management roles with Newport (IoW), AFC Newbury and Eastleigh. He has been Caretaker Manager before, holding the position jointly with Stuart Gray in October 2011 (see here). The 47 year old had three playing spells at Fratton Park, including the 1989 transfer that saw him leave Huish and move into the professional game.
Although Pompey have initially given Whittingham the job for one game at present, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him keep it until they come out of administration. Pompey are still signing players on a month-to-month basis because of their financial position, and logically the same would have to apply to their management team.
Guy Whittingham has told Pompey: I’m here for as long as you need me. The former Blues striker was asked to become caretaker boss for a second spell by administrator Trevor Birch as Michael Appleton left for Blackpool yesterday. Whittingham will be in charge for Saturday’s trip to Bury. But with so much uncertainty surrounding the club, the 47-year-old admits he simply doesn’t know if he wants the full-time job as yet but is happy to fill in – even if it is for a lengthy spell.
Whittingham said: ‘I’d heard a few things but I was only told on Wednesday evening when Trevor Birch called me. ‘I’ve said before that when you get the chance to be in charge of this club for however long that may be, it’s a privilege. ‘But it’s too early to discuss whether I would want to do the job for the longer term. ‘It’s not about me. The most important thing at the moment is that this football club keeps going and it comes out of administration.
‘I’m prepared to do it for as long as I’m needed. Trevor asked me to take charge on Saturday, which I’m delighted to do. Then we can sit down and discuss things in more detail after the Bury game.’
With assistant manager Ashley Westwood following Appleton, Academy boss Andy Awford and under-18 manager Paul Hardyman are now both expected to join Whittingham in the first-team coaching set-up. Whittingham said: ‘I will meet with all of the rest of the staff to discuss things and I will get the views of Andy (Awford) and Paul (Hardyman). ‘We will talk things through and we’ll come up with some decent answers. But we need to win some games, come up with a real fighting spirit and have a real go at it.’