Campbell Departs Southend


Its been confirmed by Southend United that Sol Campbell has left his position as manager after nine months in the role where he was unable to stop the Blues from being relegated to League 2 for the first time since 2010 as they finished in 22nd place following the EFL’s decision to finish the season via a points-per-game basis.

Campbell succeeded Kevin Bond in the Roots Hall hot seat on 22nd October 2019 but had been reportedly been rumoured not to have been in regular contact with any of his squad following the 2019/20 season being halted due to the Coronavirus outbreak in March.

Hermann Hreiðarsson, Andy Cole and Tony Colbert are also departing alongside the former-England international from Roots Hall.

Upon the news of this confirmation by the Shrimpers, Sol Campbell said:

“I have really enjoyed my time at Southend United Football Club, and whilst it was a difficult time fighting relegation, I still enjoyed the experience.

“We still managed to put together positive results, whilst also giving debuts to a number of the club’s talented young players. Southend have a great group of young players coming through from the academy, which was evident in our 3-1 home win against Bristol Rovers in our last game before lockdown.

“There are obviously frustrations with how the season ended abruptly, and with what points we feel could have been amassed.

“However, the club have an exciting future with the plans for the new stadium in place, but with the current global COVID situation having a profound effect on businesses, I am keen not to be a financial burden to the club.

“I also want to thank the fans for their support throughout my time at Southend and wish the club and all the support staff the very best for the future.”

A Southend United club spokesman said:

“We are grateful to Sol Campbell for his contribution whilst manager. Sol arrived at a time when the team were struggling and began to make a difference just as Covid-19 interrupted the season.

“Sol’s use of the club’s young talent was a breath of fresh air who responded well to his stewardship.

“The club wishes to thank Sol and wish him, together with his management team, well for the future.”

Southend United now go onto looking for their fourth manager since 2018.

Analysis By Andy Wilkins:

This is a move that was expected by many over the last few weeks given the uncertainty that was growing in the blues fan base regarding Sol Campbell’s loyalty to the newly-relegated League 2 side. Whilst Campbell departs not too damaged by the experience at Southend, it does certainly leave a sour note to what has been a sour and tough time for him in Essex.

Campbell was rumoured to be interested in signing for fellow-relegated side Bolton Wanderers but with Barrow boss Ian Evatt set to be announced as boss of the Trotters in the coming days, that rumour will be put to bed for now at least for some time. Whether he will return to the game in a job up north or still down south will remain to be seen either way?

For Southend, this news ultimately puts to bed what has been a terrible and rather miserable 2019/20 campaign with two managers both gone by the end of it. Ironic given that prior to 2018, the club had only had hired three managers over the course of the previous 15 years.

Ultimately, this extra time off before the season starts in what could be September is vital for Ron Martin and his board to bring in a person or people who can restore the club to heights once achieved before whilst also bringing back some pride into the club. Especially given the last two managerial appointments have been met with mixed response. The club’s last spell in English football’s fourth tier was a long one as the club took five years to gain promotion back to League 1 in 2015 of which even then, that relied on going via the play-offs and winning at Wembley against Wycombe Wanderers on penalties.

A few names that have been suggested for the job involve highly regarded Southend favourites such as Adam Barrett who is currently coaching at Millwall whilst Steve Tilson could join the former-Blues defender in a coaching position. Former-Southend striker Simon Cox has openly suggested that current Southend Under 23’s boss Craig Fagan should be given a chance whilst comedian Terry Alderton has suggested former-Blues manager Steve Tilson to return with Adam Barrett joining as coach.

Blues fans are also suggesting former-Southend boss Phil Brown who most recently has been in charge of Indian Premier League sides Pune City and Hyderabad to come back for a second spell whilst former-Southend midfielder and current Bristol Rovers coach Kevin Maher is also being suggested as a potential candidate alongside Paul Hurst, Gary Johnson and Paul Tisdale of whom are all also being rumoured as being in the running for the job.

To conclude here, this appointment is crucial to Southend as if you look at history, it can seen as very easy to lose your way in League 2 and drop into the lower depths of the division. Leyton Orient are a prime example of making the wrong managerial decision which cost them their EFL membership for two years.

I personally think the appointment of Adam Barrett as manager alongside Kevin Maher as assistant and Steve Tilson as Director of Football would be the best way forward for the club as all could bring their own flair and amount of supporters back to Roots Hall once more which in effect, could restore the old times once again to the club that have got a bright future ahead of them.


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Photographer who's gone everywhere from covering non-league football to covering England internationals. Occasionally write but mostly at football matches with a camera and mono-pod.

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