Is Steve King’s Dismissal One Of The Most Bizarre Sackings In Football?

It has to go down as one of the most bizarre managerial sackings of the season. With just 5 games to go of the Blue Square Premier season, Macclesfield Town FC have sacked boss Steve King following their 3-1 loss to Grimsby Town FC.

Steve King came in at Moss Lane in May 2012 following the departure of previous boss Brian Horton and the club falling out of the Football League. But despite not setting the league on fire, they have had a decent season and were topping the league at one point and even now they currently sit 8th in the table.

They are just twelve points behind 5th place Forest Green and could theoretically make the playoffs still, which makes this sacking even more bizarre. It would take some major luck for them to make it, but as we know in football stranger things have happened.

As Non-league Paper editor Sam Elliot pointed out on twitter that ‘he (Steve King) may not have been everybody’s cup of tea, but he was building a squad for the new season to have a go at promotion to the Football League.’

That squad included Matthew Barnes-Homer, Lance Cronin and John-Paul Kissock. Three highly profiled names that will be key to any club in the BSP.

Matthew Barnes-Homer scored the goals to beat Cardiff City 2-1 in the FA Cup as they reached the 4th round of the competition for the first time in their history (which was under King) and currently sits among the leading scorers of the league with 18 but Matthew is unfortunately ruled out for the rest of the season.

Lance is an established goalkeeper in the Conference Premier having played nearly 200 games at Ebbsfleet United before moving onto league sides Gillingham and Bristol Rovers before signing for the Moss Rose club. Lance is a key figure at the club.

While JP Kissock is the playmaker of the team, and was a big coup from Luton Town in the summer. The former Everton youngster joined Macc originally on loan from Luton before getting a permanent deal in the New Year. The press at Luton called him the non-league version of Lionel Messi due to his looks and his skills that are similar to the Barcelona player.

King (as mentioned above) took Macclesfield to the 4th round of the FA Cup where they were unlucky to bow out to Premier League side Wigan Athletic 1-0. But it seems that results and times like that do not really count for anything in the world of football and that a manager’s position is reviewed game by game, month by month.

Owners do not seem to have a look at the bigger picture and how the season has really gone for the club.

I am not a Macc fan, I have no connection to the club or know personally of any of their fans but I really do think that this season could be deemed a fairly successful season even if it doesn’t mean that ‘The Silkmen’ are going up.

But the main question for me that needs asking is why NOW?

With the season just a matter of weeks from completion why sack your manager now instead of waiting just a few weeks to end of the season. Ok so Macc haven’t won their last 4 games and could partly be the reason but changing now will not solve anything in all fairness.

Youth team boss John Askey will take charge till the end of the season he is unlikely to shove Macclesfield into the top 5 position that they need to enter the play offs. I don’t think that even someone with the skills of Sir Alex Ferguson will be able to produce a turn around like that so drastically.

Obviously we have got to wait until the dust settles where maybe something comes out before we can draw definitive answers to the sacking, but for me this has to be the most bizarre sacking.

Follow Richard on twitter: @nonleaguerich


About Richard Scott

Hi I am Richard, I have been supporting Chorley FC and non-league football since 2004. I chose non-league because of the prices were cheaper then Premier league stuff and because I was playing in the Chorley FC soccer school. Now 9 years later I am still loving life in the world of Non-league and started writing about the world of Non-league football which has led me to doing Journalism at Staffordshire University. I have interviewed people from Dale Belford to Garry Flitcroft to Steve Kean. Also got a placement this summer at the Non-league paper.

Posted on April 4, 2013, in UTL Archive and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. It’s not the sacking that was bizarre, it was King’s appointment in the first place. While the season has been OK on the field, behind the scenes King’s regime was somewhat chaotic. None of the backroom staff he brought in lasted very long. Assistant Manager Colin Reid didn’t even make it beyond pre-season before leaving.

    King himself was never popular with supporters and his appointment was a personal decision by the club’s owner Amar Alkadhi. Several key board members and the chairman didn’t support the decision and resigned when it was announced last summer.

    King built an impressive squad but didn’t seem to bother with team preparation, and also didn’t help himself by promising the play offs as a ‘minimum’ achievement for the season. This was never likely, something recognised by most of the fans, but if a man insists he’s going to deliver something then it’s only fair he’s held to it.

    The timing of the sacking was a surprise but all the club has said is that they hope to be able to give more details at some point in the future. It’s fair to say that King has something of a reputation in non league circles and this is not the first time he’s left a club in circumstances that aren’t publicly explained.

    MTFC under the current owner are certainly not a club that thinks deeply or sensibly about long term planning. As a Silkmen fan, it pains me to say that I can’t see the current set-up bringing any success any time soon. King wasn’t the right man for the job and his swift departure was on the cards from the day he arrived.

    • Just to follow up on this now that MTFC’s financial position is clear – During King’s reign the club went from financially sound (despite relegation) to almost 500k in debt, all through overspending under King and owner Amar Alkadhi last season. The club is now trying to escape liquidation by doing a deal with the local council. Considering that this huge overspend was accumulated in assembling a team that didn’t even finish in the top 10, King’s sacking is entirely justified and the only bizarre thing about this is the fact he got the job in the first place. Given his track record at Lewes (afflicted by financial trouble) Northwich (more financial trouble) Farnborough (erm, financial trouble) and now Macclesfield (yes, four in a row) I see no reason why anyone in football should ever want to hire Steve King ever again.

      • Excellent response Matt, answers all Richard’s questions. Steve King is an absolute joke and has come close to bankrupting the club. An absolute chancer and showman, who should be kept away from football.

        It’s Moss Rose too, not Moss Lane.

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