Coppell resigns as Bristol City boss and quits management
Steve Coppell has resigned as Bristol City boss with immediate effect after announcing his retirement from football management.
The 55-year-old begun his reign at Ashton Gate last May following the dismissal of Gary Johnson. During the summer he made a number of recruitments to bolster City’s squad, most notably England goalkeeper David James last month.
Coppell suffered a poor start to the season with an opening day loss to Millwall at Ashton Gate followed by defeat to Southend in the Carling Cup on Tuesday. Despite early problems on the pitch the former Reading manager’s decision comes as a surprise given the timing.
Keith Millen, who took over as caretaker manager last season after Gary Johnson parted company with City, has been appointed as Coppell’s replacement and handed a three-year contract.
Coppell said in a statement from the League Mangers Association: “It is with the deepest regret that I confirm my departure from Bristol City. I have made my decision after very careful consideration and I believe that it is in the best interests of both the club and me personally that we go our separate ways.
“Bristol City is an excellent club, with brilliant support and a chairman with great ambition for the club’s future. Whilst I was looking forward to the challenge of leading the players in this season’s campaign, unfortunately, it has become clear over recent weeks, that I found I could not, for whatever reason, become passionate about the role and give the commitment the position demands.
“I appreciate that the timing of my departure is not ideal, but I believe it is best for the club to appoint a new manager or indeed appoint Keith Millen, who has a deep knowledge of the club and the squad, at this stage of the season. That individual can then make decisions on signing players before the window closes and work with the squad for the full campaign.
“I am retiring from football management but still feel I have a contribution to make to the game sometime in the future. I would like to sincerely thank the chairman and the board for their understanding and I wish the club and its supporters every success.”
Coppell managed six clubs since starting out at Crystal Palace in 1984. Arguably his greatest achievement was winning the Championship with Reading in 2006 and thus achieving promotion to the Premier League.