Gregory in, Coppell out at Crawley

The Argus: John Gregory has not worked in English football for more than six years John Gregory has not worked in English football for more than six years

Crawley Town are set to hand John Gregory a way back into English football when they unveil the former Aston Villa boss as their new manager this morning.

Gregory, who has not managed in the Football League since being sacked by QPR in October 2007, has been identified as the man to revive Crawley’s fortunes following a run of eight games without a win in League One.

The 59-year-old’s appointment is expected to be confirmed at a press conference at the Checkatrade.com Stadium at 10.30am, less than six days after former manager Richie Barker was axed.

Gregory has been out of the game altogether since a six month spell in charge of Kazakhstan top flight outfit FC Kairat in 2011. The former Albion midfielder – who played 72 games for the Seagulls between 1979 and 1981 – previously had two unsuccessful stints in charge of Israeli clubs but has been keen to get back into English football for the last few years.

Gregory brings with him a wealth of experience at the highest level having been in charge of Aston Villa for four years, guiding them to three consecutive top eight finishes in the Premier League and also to the FA Cup final in 2000.

The ex-England international has only limited experience of working in the lower tiers of the Football League from his 17 months in charge at Wycombe Wanderers between 1996 and 1998.

Gregory knows Crawley chief executive Michael Dunford from his playing days at Derby County when Dunford was general manager and club secretary at the Baseball Ground.

His first game in charge will be the FA Cup second round tie at Bristol Rovers on Saturday where he will attempt to lift a Crawley side which has only scored three goals in their last nine games.

Gregory will not be working alongside Steve Coppell at Crawley, however, after the club confirmed the former Albion boss had left his role as director of football.

Crawley had previously denied that Coppell had resigned following the sacking of Barker last Wednesday but Dunford was forced into a U-turn when the news was revealed on The Argus website yesterday.

Coppell is understood to have been upset with the club’s decision to axe Barker with Crawley sitting comfortably in mid-table in League One having been restricted by a tight budget.

Dunford said: “Steve will always have a special place in our hearts because he was instrumental in assisting Craig Brewster in securing our status to League One and has since been a very good advisor to both the board of directors and the team management. Steve will always be welcome at Crawley Town.”

The former Reading and Crystal Palace boss – who is believed to have been working without a contract at Crawley since joining the club in the wake of Steve Evans’ departure in April 2012 – could now link up with Barker again in a similar role at Portsmouth.

Barker is on a shortlist for the vacant managerial position at Fratton Park and is due to be interviewed over the next two days. Sources close to the League Two club say Coppell would definitely be part of the package if Barker got the job.

Comments (3)

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11:57am Tue 3 Dec 13

college says...

I wish Crawley well and hope they can remain in the league, it's far better for Sussex football if they can but I have my reservations - especially with this appointment.
From his association with Dunford my personal opinion is it's jobs for the boys. I give Gregory till the end of January to completely lose the players and be in the bottom 3.
Can anyone tell me - when has taking apart a complete management team with all it's contacts and proven track record etc ever worked for a mid table cash strapped club? Especially when the new appointment has never managed at this level - possibly with no current contacts and definitely with no cash for loans or to buy players.
I've no axe to grind with Gregory but his style was always hump it and lump it - both playing and managing, and going by his track record in Israel it hasn't changed.
Good luck Crawley - you should have kept Barker and Coppell and gotten rid of Dunford, I think their 'wealth of experience' eclipses both Dunford and Gregory by far.
I wish Crawley well and hope they can remain in the league, it's far better for Sussex football if they can but I have my reservations - especially with this appointment. From his association with Dunford my personal opinion is it's jobs for the boys. I give Gregory till the end of January to completely lose the players and be in the bottom 3. Can anyone tell me - when has taking apart a complete management team with all it's contacts and proven track record etc ever worked for a mid table cash strapped club? Especially when the new appointment has never managed at this level - possibly with no current contacts and definitely with no cash for loans or to buy players. I've no axe to grind with Gregory but his style was always hump it and lump it - both playing and managing, and going by his track record in Israel it hasn't changed. Good luck Crawley - you should have kept Barker and Coppell and gotten rid of Dunford, I think their 'wealth of experience' eclipses both Dunford and Gregory by far. college

12:39pm Tue 3 Dec 13

the taffster says...

college wrote:
I wish Crawley well and hope they can remain in the league, it's far better for Sussex football if they can but I have my reservations - especially with this appointment.
From his association with Dunford my personal opinion is it's jobs for the boys. I give Gregory till the end of January to completely lose the players and be in the bottom 3.
Can anyone tell me - when has taking apart a complete management team with all it's contacts and proven track record etc ever worked for a mid table cash strapped club? Especially when the new appointment has never managed at this level - possibly with no current contacts and definitely with no cash for loans or to buy players.
I've no axe to grind with Gregory but his style was always hump it and lump it - both playing and managing, and going by his track record in Israel it hasn't changed.
Good luck Crawley - you should have kept Barker and Coppell and gotten rid of Dunford, I think their 'wealth of experience' eclipses both Dunford and Gregory by far.
totally agree.gregory is a disrespectful cad
[quote][p][bold]college[/bold] wrote: I wish Crawley well and hope they can remain in the league, it's far better for Sussex football if they can but I have my reservations - especially with this appointment. From his association with Dunford my personal opinion is it's jobs for the boys. I give Gregory till the end of January to completely lose the players and be in the bottom 3. Can anyone tell me - when has taking apart a complete management team with all it's contacts and proven track record etc ever worked for a mid table cash strapped club? Especially when the new appointment has never managed at this level - possibly with no current contacts and definitely with no cash for loans or to buy players. I've no axe to grind with Gregory but his style was always hump it and lump it - both playing and managing, and going by his track record in Israel it hasn't changed. Good luck Crawley - you should have kept Barker and Coppell and gotten rid of Dunford, I think their 'wealth of experience' eclipses both Dunford and Gregory by far.[/p][/quote]totally agree.gregory is a disrespectful cad the taffster

12:56pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Neville says...

Awful appointment and both the Directors and him deserve each other. Chairman unable to be honest about Coppell when questioned,does not bode well for the future and I am sure some fans will leave the club this season.
Awful appointment and both the Directors and him deserve each other. Chairman unable to be honest about Coppell when questioned,does not bode well for the future and I am sure some fans will leave the club this season. Neville

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