Graham Alexander has become the third EFL managerial departure in the space of a week after Salford City surprisingly sacked him after two-and-a-half-years at the helm.
Co-owner Paul Scholes was swiftly placed in charge of the League Two club, albeit on a caretaker basis, with development manager Warren Joyce set to join him once he returns from isolation.
It’s the first time that the Man Utd legend has returned to the dugout since his 31-day spell at Oldham came to an end back in March 2019.
Scholes resigned from his Latics post as he was unable to “operate as I intended and was led to believe prior to taking on the role,” but 18 months later and he’s now back in management.
However, it’s expected to be in the short-term while the club searches for the permanent replacement for Alexander, although he has been installed as the 6/4 favourite to take over on a full-time basis, with the next Salford City manager market also featuring the likes of Paul Cook, Roy Keane, Danny Cowley and Nigel Clough.
While both Sabri Lamouchi’s sacking at Nottingham Forest and Gerhard Struber’s move to New York Red Bulls were both expected, the sudden termination of Alexander’s contract came completely out of the blue on Monday (12th October).
Salford are 5th in League Two, one point outside of the automatic promotion spots, and unbeaten in their five league matches to date.
They would be sitting in second, if it weren’t for two late Tranmere goals on Saturday, which saw what looked to be a certain victory turn into a draw. As it turns out it was Alexander’s 109th and final match at the helm of The Ammies.
The 49-year-old, who has previously managed Fleetwood and Scunthorpe, took charge of Salford in May 2018 following the exit of joint-managers Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson.
In his first season he propelled Salford into the Football League after his troops thumped AFC Fylde at Wembley in the National League play-off final.
Last term Salford finished 11th after the campaign was halted in March, however they did reach the EFL Trophy final, a final which has yet to be played due to the pandemic.
“The club would like to thank Graham for his contribution and all his hard work,” the club said in a statement on Monday afternoon. “In his first season he guided the team to Wembley, resulting in promotion to League 2 and in his second season he reached the Leasing.com Trophy final. The club would like to wish him all the best and success in the future.
“First team coach, Chris Lucketti, will also leave the club.
Paul Scholes will act as the interim head coach while the club looks to secure a new manager. Warren Joyce, currently in isolation, will join Paul once he is able to.”
- Took Salford to the EFL— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) October 12, 2020
- Currently 5th in League Two
- Unbeaten start to the league
Salford have sacked Graham Alexander and placed Paul Scholes in temporary charge 😳 pic.twitter.com/bVrLxFwd1d