The Championship: Chaos at Ricoh Arena as Coventry Sack Chris Coleman

...Senior Writer IMay 5, 2010

Coventry City have sacked manager Chris Coleman with immediate effect. The Welshman, who took charge at the Ricoh Arena in Feb. 2008, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract, was summoned to Ray Ranson's office on Tuesday morning, after a board meeting that decided his fate.

Coventry ended another disappointing campaign in 19th position, just two places outside the dreaded relegation zone. The horrible 4-0 defeat at home to Watford on Sunday, seems to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

It wasn't long ago when Coventry were sniffing around the playoffs and looked odds-on to complete the overwhelming Midlands presence in the top six, but while West Brom, Nottingham Forest, and Leicester continued the fine form, Coventry ran out of steam.

An 11-match winless streak, compounded by the thrashing at the hands of an average Watford side in front of the home crowd, was deemed unforgivable.

It was clear that the former Fulham boss was struggling to motivate his players, and while Watford were banging the goals in, Coleman cut a very depressed and defeated figure.

By the sound of the noises coming from Ray Ranson regarding the transfer budget, it didn't sound like there would be much. With that being the case, he would be left then trying to motivate and get an underachieving team to achieve more.

With that being the only option, it seemed Coleman's fate was sealed.

Ranson however, confirmed that the decision reached was not a knee-jerk reaction to the 4-0 defeat, but rather a result of a careful assessment of the past two years, while reflecting a deterioration in form towards the end of the season for the second year running. 

"It is true I enjoyed a very close working relationship with Chris and it's been a pleasure to work with him since his arrival in February 2008. The board would like to place on record their thanks for his efforts over two and a half years"

"We will not be rushed into finding a successor and the board will explore every avenue to appoint the right manager to take Coventry City Football Club forward," Ranson said. 

Coleman's Coventry reign started off pretty impressively as he steadied the ship after Ian Dowie had left the club in a shambolic state. 

They survived relegation by a single point on the final day in 2008, but after an equally demoralizing 4-1 defeat to Charlton, they relied on results elsewhere that eventually saw Leicester relegated to League One.

As fate would have it, that same Leicester side regrouped, gained automatic promotion the following season, and now sit proudly in the playoffs ready to fight their way into the top tier, while Coventry continue to dilly-dally and flirt with relegation.

Former player and manager, Gary McAllister, has emerged as one of the early favorites to retake the helm at the Ricoh Arena.

The former Scotland captain enjoyed a memorable playing spell with the Sky Blues between 1996-2000 before returning to the club as player/manager in 2002, resigning 20 months later to be with his wife while she underwent treatment for cancer.

Others in the frame include Phil Brown, Gareth Southgate, Alan Curbishley, and former West Brom and Celtic manager, Tony Mowbray.

Whatever happens, it looks set to be an interesting couple of months for Coventry.