After a day of heavy newspaper speculation, and a 0-0 draw to Yan Po at the weekend despite going through on penalties, Spartans F.C. have finally sacked manager Russell Pang.
In a club statement the board thanked Pang for his efforts, especially in keeping the club in the 2nd Division, but said that they needed to act in the best interests of Spartans and had parted company with Pang by a unanimous decision errr…sorry “mutual consent”.
Coach Maung will take over as caretaker boss as of Tuesday 18 November, assisted by Captain Ogden.
The temporary manager has a tough task in guiding Spartans to the First division but beleives his side are capable of reaching with ease.
‘I don’t think it is a lost cause – but it is a difficult task,’ Maung said.
‘People only have to look at the league table and the finances of the club to realise that – it was not an easy job for Russell Pang.
‘But it is a big club with a big fan base – and there is potential, especially with the crowds the club can attract in P Burgos.
‘I will try to instil a lot of confidence in the players and I hope they will respond to that.
‘If you start to win a few games it begins to pick people up. If you are in there fighting you always have a chance, and we will look to move up the league.’
Spartans are around $8000 in debt following a period of wild excess under former treasurer Bobby Tsang who spent vast sums of money on beers on the basis of yearly qualification for the Manila Nomads Tournament.
‘The process of identifying a longer term first team manager is under way and the board has a clear view of the credentials required of any candidate,’ the club statement read.
‘Not with standing current financial constraints, Spartans are determined to return to its place as one of the top clubs in the Yau Yee and is looking to appoint a new first team manager who will reflect this determination.’
There is no candidate understood to be the number one choice of the board.
Pang first took over at Ho Sheung Heung in a temporary capacity in March following the resignation of Hamid Lane and had eighteen games to keep the struggling club in the promotion trail.
They secured their status in the secon division with a 3-2 win over Colloids at Ho Sheung Heung in the penultimate match of last season, a result which also handed the relegation to Colloids.
Pang was given the job on a full-time basis in May but in the summer he was satisfied with bringing in seven players.
Peter Tsang was lost to the British Consulate while chris Lau left the club and new signing Tom Wilson didn’t even turn out for the club.
Reid fell out with full-back Wayne Wong, who was released to go and play golf before the transfer window closed at the end of August and more recently has had a series of rows with midfielder Rick “Zoolander” Man.
Zoolander walked off the pitch and left the ground before the home clash with Wah Yan after discovering he was not part of the matchday squad of 16 because of his late arrival at Kings Park and was then excluded from the ill-fated trip to Yan Po after another training ground confrontation.
The club’s money men held a very public discussion over whether to keep Pang after some poor results but announced in early October that he would remain as manager.
However, performances have worsened since then and the club have now taken action.
Chief executive Southgate, who has been in the job less than a fortnight, said: ‘It is of course sad to part company with Russell under these circumstances.
‘The board appreciates and thanks Russell for his efforts and recognises that he has always worked in the best interests of the club.
‘But we have got to move forward and are overwhelmingly focused first and foremost on retaining our Premier League status and ultimately bringing success on and off the field back to this great club.’