Former Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley has suggested that he was surprised that the club allowed Lee Bowyer to leave and that he feels that more has gone on behind the scenes than we know about.
Bowyer had a lot of highs during his time in charge of the Addicks, including taking the club to promotion from League One via the play-offs in 2018/19. However, last campaign saw them relegated on the final day of the season. This time around things have not gone smoothly and there have been some tough spells in the third tier.
However, following a 3-2 win against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday in their first game since Bowyer resigned from his role earlier in the week, the Addicks have now climbed back into the top six places in. That shows there was still every chance that they could have made the top-six under their former manager this term. After resigning, the 44-year-old has now been confirmed as Birmingham’s boss.
Speaking to London News Online, Curbishley suggested it was a shock when he learned about Bowyer’s departure. He also revealed that he thinks something has gone on behind the scenes where the 44-year-old had informed the club of Birmingham’s interest and they decided it was the best situation for all concerned to let him go.
He said: “I was shocked [when he left]. But when something like this happens, there is a lot more gone on than perhaps we learn about and know about.
“I looked from the outside, thinking it looks amicable. There was no ‘if you want to go, we want this – there’s compensation of this’ or ‘we’re going to get lawyers involved’. ‘There’s interest from another club – and I want to go, or look into it’.
“Maybe Thomas has said: ‘Fine, if you don’t want to be here then fine if you want to move on’.
“Lee’s had to come and talk after the game and the results have not gone that well, but at the start of the season we’d have been begging for the position we’re in – with the owners we had and the embargo. He was getting himself a bit down, but I don’t think he had any intention of leaving. Maybe it’s because it is Birmingham and he feels it is the right time when he came in.”
Curbishley will know of the kinds of things that go on behind the scenes at a football club when a manager departs. So, it is interesting to see that he believes that Charlton’s hierarchy might have just decided that they would allow Bowyer to resign and then take up the position at Birmingham. They could have as he says demanded compensation for him to be released.
However, results have not always been going smoothly for the Addicks over recent months and it was looking like it would be a tough challenge for them to make the top six this term. It might therefore have been felt that the time was right for a fresh face to come into the club and try and take on the challenge of getting them into the play-offs.
Bowyer’s departure is a sad one for the club and he worked wonders at times for the club, especially in guiding them to promotion back to the Championship in 2018/19. It will be a difficult act to follow for the next manager and you feel the club need to get their choice of next manager right now for them to be able to enjoy more success.