Burley quits Derby job
George Burley blamed the Derby County board after resigning as manager yesterday, claiming his position had become “untenable”, writes Dave Vincent.In a statement the former Ipswich Town boss said: “It is with great regret I wish to announce my decision not to continue as manager of Derby County Football Club.
George Burley blamed the Derby County board after resigning as manager yesterday, claiming his position had become “untenable”, writes Dave Vincent.
In a statement the former Ipswich Town boss said: “It is with great regret I wish to announce my decision not to continue as manager of Derby County Football Club.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to work for this great club and to have enjoyed a memorable relationship with such special fans.
“However, as a result of an ongoing issue which has proved impossible to resolve, my position has become increasingly untenable.”
And speaking to a local radio station in Derby yesterday afternoon, Burley said he felt he had been 'let down' by the Pride Park board, and again mentioned an 'ongoing issue', which is widely understood in the East Midlands to be his worsening relationship with Murdo Mackay, the club's director of football.
Mackay himself yesterday said he had offered his resignation to the board, leaving the Derby fans up in arms over losing the management team which steered them to an unlikely play-off semi-final, despite not spending a single penny in the transfer market.
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Burley, who guided Derby to a fourth place finish in the Coca-Cola Championship this season, says he hopes the club can 'continue to build upon the considerable progress which the team has achieved over the last two seasons.'
After his success in turning round their struggling side and getting them into the Championship play-offs and his proven track record with Town, he should not be out of a job for long.
He has already being linked with the vacancy at Hearts, back in his native Scotland, where another former Town boss, Sir Bobby Robson, has declined an offer to become director of football.
Though Burley was sacked by Town in October 2002, following their relegation from the Premiership that summer, he has now twice walked out on clubs.
He left Colchester United, where some fans still hold a grudge, for the vacancy at Portman Road in December 1994.
Burley's relationship with the Rams' hierarchy, including Mackay, had proved difficult with chairman John Sleightholme opting to sell Tom Huddlestone to Tottenham against the manager's wishes earlier this year.
And the club last month publicly denied they had launched an internal inquiry into Burley's conduct following newspaper allegations which the 49-year-old Scot, who led the Rams to the play-offs this season, said had “hurt him deeply”.
But yesterday Sleightholme accused Burley of not making clear “his real reasons” for resigning as Rams boss.
Sleightholme said: “George raised a specific concern with the board, the board had a meeting and complied with George's request and he agreed to continue as manager.
“However, since that meeting only a number of days ago, George now feels he cannot continue as manager.
“We asked if there was anything we could do to change his mind and he said there was no solution possible. George and his representatives have made it clear his decision is final.
“The board, having satisfied George's requests, are disappointed he has not made clear his real reasons for leaving.”