Butcher seals move to Sydney FC

IPSWICH legend Terry Butcher has withdrawn from the race to become the club's next manager.Ex-Town skipper Butcher has signed a two-year deal to take over at Australian side Sydney FC.

IPSWICH legend Terry Butcher has withdrawn from the race to become the club's next manager.

Ex-Town skipper Butcher has signed a two-year deal to take over at Australian side Sydney FC.

Butcher has put pen to paper after spending five days looking at Sydney FC's facilities and speaking with officials from the ambitious Hyundai A-League club.

He arrived in Australia last Thursday - the same day that boss Joe Royle quit Portman Road - for talks with Sydney FC.


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The 47-year-old former England captain admitted: “Everything would have to go disastrously wrong for me not to complete the deal.”

Butcher, who was manager of Scottish Premier League side Motherwell, has never denied his ambition to one day manage Ipswich.

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But he clearly feels the £350,000-a-year job Down Under is too good a chance to reject. He will succeed ex-German international winger Pierre Littbarski and have former Norwich midfield man Ian Crook as his right-hand man.

Butcher added: “I have been hugely impressed by the club and their ambitions for the future - and let's be honest, aside from anything else, it is a wonderful opportunity for me and my family and just too big to turn down.”

Last season, with Crook alongside head coach Littbarski, Sydney won the A-League Grand Final, beating Central Coast Mariners 1-0 at Sydney Football Stadium in front of a 42,000 crowd.

Butcher added: “If you had told me a month ago I would be in Australia and about to become the new coach of the country's leading domestic football club I would have either called you nuts or had you carted off.

“I have to admit that when I received the first call, I thought it was a massive wind-up. I suspected it was either one of my staff, players or some prankster who wanted a laugh at my expense.”

Butcher met with Sydney chief executive Tim Parker and chairman Walter Bugno, as well as touring Aussie Stadium and spending time with Crook and the rest of the coaching staff.

Parker said of Butcher: “We have been impressed by his knowledge of Australian football and the Sydney FC team and players, as well as his drive and ambition.

“He has spent time with the existing football staff and also been to Aussie Stadium.”

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