Gillingham FC’s knee-jerk sacking of ex Leicester City, Brentford FC & Notts County manager Martin Allen leaves ex-Imp John Schofield in limbo with Peter Taylor 1-4 favourite to sweep anew in the next few days. Allen had steered the Gills to promotion in his first season in charge but 2 wins in the opening 11 saw his 16 month tenure end yesterday.
thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.
Once again Allen has been hard done by, just as he was at Leicester City (fall-out with the chairman over signing policy) and Cheltenham (unfounded racism accusations that led to gardening leave), with fans shocked at his sudden departure. His stats have been somewhat consistently impressive throughout his managerial career (see below) with the last stint yielding a 42% win rate with 27 wins, 17 draws and just 20 defeats. He and first team coach John Schofield inspired the Gills best ever start to a season, most away wins ever (11) and the championship at a club that was not financially blessed after almost a decade of hardship. To sack the League 2 manager of the year after just 16 months in the job does seem harsh.
John Schofield has been Martin Allen’s number two at Cheltenham, Notts County and Gillingham, linking up with him after the love affair with Lincoln turned sour. John had been responsible for the Imps youth section with many notable successes before being given the top job after Keith Alexander had gone to Peterborough. His brand of attacking football won many plaudits with Stallard and Forester enjoying a 37 goal partnership, but the defensive weaknesses ultimately did for him and John Deehan who had joined him to add experience.
When the duo found themselves out of a job, Schoey was distraught to say the least. He had hoped to stay at the Imps, with a return to the Youth set up that he had worked wonders at. Lincoln was in Schoey’s blood after two stints, 250 appearances and the steady progression up the City youth coaching ladder as he gained the top UEFA ‘A’ licence. John is a superb coach, a poet for princely passing football, but one very much down to earth with mud in his studs.
Scunthorpe gave him a way back into the game after a four month period of disillusionment, before Walsall manager Jimmy Mullen stepped in. After Jimmy was sacked he took charge for one game before being moved on after Chris Hutchins got the job and brought in his own man. Schoey then joined Martin Ling at Cambridge before teaming up with Allen at the Magpies. It will be interesting to see whether he puts in for the job or is kept on as part of Peter Taylor’s new set-up, as it would be such a shame to see one of the games great unsung coaches out of work again. Then again Martin Allen will soon be back in work.
Martin Allen & Schofield Records
|Barnet||March 2003||March 2004||47||20||17||10||42.55|
|Brentford||18 March 2004||31 May 2006||124||54||36||34||43.55|
|Milton Keynes Dons||21 June 2006||25 May 2007||55||28||11||16||50.91|
|Leicester City||25 May 2007||29 August 2007||4||2||1||1||50.00|
|Cheltenham Town||15 September 2008||11 December 2009||60||13||19||28||21.67|
|Barnet||23 March 2011||11 April 2011||3||2||1||0||66.67|
|Notts County||11 April 2011||18 February 2012||43||16||10||17||37.21|
|Barnet||16 April 2012||11 June 2012||3||2||0||1||66.67|
|Gillingham||5 July 2012||13 October 2013||64||27||17||20||42.19|
|Lincoln City||24 May 2006||15 October 2007||64||23||14||27||36.0|
|Walsall (caretaker)||10 January 2009||20 January 2009||1||0||0||1||0.0|
|Cheltenham Town (caretaker)||20 October 2009||22 December 2009||9||1||3||5||11.1|
Former Imp, Brentford FC, Doncaster Rovers, Gillingham FC, Millwall FC & Brighton & Hove Albion striker Mark McCammon will keep the £68,000 he won from The Gills last season. Gillingham FC have lost their appeal over the ruling it sacked the ex-Imp striker Mark McCammon ‘in an act of racial victimisation, See original STMI article HERE
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Back in July 2012, Mark McCammon won an unfair dismissal case against Gillingham FC, with the tribunal ruling he was was unfairly dismissed and that the dismissal was an act of racial victimisation. The Gills were – ”disappointed – in fact, staggered” by the decision and would be consulting their lawyers, Mark was awarded £68,000.
Mark brought the case against the Gills in June 2012, claiming he and other black squad members were treated differently to white players. He sued for race discrimination, breach of contract, unfair dismissal and failure to pay him.
Gillingham’s statement at the time said: “We are hugely disappointed – in fact, staggered – by this decision. As an organisation, we are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate against, nor victimise our staff. This case is the first of its kind to be brought against the club in its entire history – a history that has seen the club employ many thousands of staff of various race, religion and creed, none of whom have ever felt the need to bring such a claim.”
Gillingham said at the time that they would “discuss the judgement with our lawyers and decide upon the next course of action, whether that be an appeal against the findings, or another form of action, as deemed appropriate”.
The club subsequently lodged an appeal against the ruling that it sacked the striker in an act of racial victimisation, saying the case did not look at the main issues. At a hearing yesterday a judge upheld the original tribunal’s decision.
Mr McCammon, now 35, said: “It was traumatising and it sort of sabotaged my career in the football world, my progress. I had football clubs after me and that just deteriorated. It’s very, very unfortunate.”
Gillingham chairman Paul Scally told BBC South East: “We are confident that we dismissed Mark McCammon for the right reasons.
“It is unfortunate, very frustrating, but people associated with this football club are very well aware of the circumstances around this case and that the club is very much an equal opportunities employer.”
Mr Scally said after the appeal decision on Tuesday the reference to racism should not have been in the letter and said the tribunal and appeal ruled against the club because of the technicality of the term being included.
STMI would like to offer you all the the best Mark – is he still a good target man if fit, even at 35?
|Sq no||Player name||Starts||on as sub||BSP Mins||Goals||Shots||Shots on||Assists||YC||RC|
Sheffield Wednesday have announced a friendly against Rangers and knocked back a bid from Barnsley for unsettled O’Grady with Flitcroft now turning his attention to Donaldson at Brentford FC, someone the Owls could do with. Jones is also being linked with Sunderland AFC free agent Kilgallon and St Ledger, who has no future at Leicester City. With 6 out of contract Dave Jones has funds and scope for movement to ensure the Owls start looking up rather than down in 2013/14.
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
There is an optimism surrounding Hillsborough after a season of consolidation following promotion reward for saviour Milan and the grateful Owls. STMI will be following them this season, after being made to feel so welcome by both Owls online (Owlstalk) and in the flesh. They and the cavernous Kop bearing that huge Thanks Milan banner are starting to bounce with 1,000 new season ticket holders already on board. The momentum is growing and, with the weight of expectation akin to that of Atlas, Dave Jones, a master at finding gems, has his work cut out. He has the pedigree to ensure that the Owls are there or thereabouts by addressing some key areas.
Wednesday do need more fire-power up front. The news that Jermaine Johnson will sign an extension will be greeted positively but Gary Madine, Chris McGuire and Chris O’Grady failed to help shoulder the burden largely left to Leroy Lita, as Dave Jones double-six gave way to 4-3-3 /4-5-1. It kept the Owls up, although McGuire got a vital winner at Millwall after the JJ/Lita show in the 3-2 thriller against Blackburn. Barnsley have had a bid rejected for O’Grady, after his successful loan spell but, manager Flitcroft, will allegedly not follow it up on his self professed ‘”no 1 target” and turn instead to Brentford’s Clayton Donaldson or ex-Blade John Stead.
The Owls do have two fantastic wide-boys to supply whoever comes in with some golden bullets. They will welcome the return of Michail Antonio, injured in the spring, next term, he was sorely missed after a great start, leaving JJ with a huge ask. He duly delivered with aplomb, but he is not getting any younger (32), suggesting the need for cover as McGuire and Lee are relatively poor replacements out wide. Mind you Buxton’s runs from full-back are a treat to behold.
The Owls midfield was overwhelmed at times last season, with central midfield quantity being a poor substitute for quality. Semedo is a fans favourite, Lines, Prutton and Coke are tryers, but early season loans at League 1 clubs, suggest the Owls need to invest in at least one midfield general if they are to look up rather than down. Coke (27) has been offered a new deal by Jones this month, but is yet to sign. Rhys McCabe and Paul Cory are still young but would certainly benefit from a seasoned campaigner to help them realise their potential. Cheltenham’s Marlon Pack (22) is on the radar. At first hand he may not be seen as a landmark signing, but he has the quality and engine to take the step up in his stride. The compensation fee would also leave plenty to spare for elsewhere.
Right-back and player of the season Lewis Buxton has just agreed a new two year deal, fantastic on the overlap, his delivery ensures a dangerous and consistent end product for the Owls. Jones is being linked with ex-Sunderland free agent Kilgallon and St Ledger who has no future at Leicester City with favourite Miguel Llera rumoured to be leaving Hillsborough (if agents talk is to be believed). The Owls defence was somewhat overworked at times last season and conceded 61 goals. Llera and Gardner put in some brave performances last year,given the step up and hearts in mouths aside. With Garner’s injury record, Taylor, now 33 and, Llera out of contract, a Fox and Black cat capture could be the stitch in time that saves 9. Left-back Reda Johnson is a fans favourite but Leeds Danny Pugh looked useful during a loan to cover for RJ’s injury. Joe Mattock can play at right or left back but struggled when called on to deputise.
Kirkland was ever-present in his first season and is happy to stay despite rumoured Premiership interest. He will be first choice again, with understudy Stephen Bywater (limited to 4 cup games) offered a new deal whilst the ageing Weaver has been released. As further back-up, if needed, the Owls have Cameron Dawson who is an England U19 keeper. With a full-complement of keepers it leaves plenty in the kitty for a striker to get the Kop out of there seats. Donaldon could be the answer but Mansfield’s Green has surprisingly missed out during a trial at Birmingham. Now he is a gamble who could pay off better than Adam Le Fondre did for Reading.
The Imps have offered a non-contract deal to a not so free agent Mark McCammon, formerly of Brentford and Gillingham, whose claims to fame appears to be being the first to score at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium, an FA Cup appearance for Millwall albeit as a sub, plus a hat-trick for Barbados half-way through the noughties. Like all of Reg’s preferred forwards the 33 year-old has played for a host of clubs including Cambridge , Charlton, Swindon (loan), Brentford, Millwall, Brighton, Bristol City (loan), Doncaster, Bradford (loan)
First thoughts on the new Bank Beast are that Reg is biting off more than he can chew, once we can actually sign the guy of course. Having played just 3 games for Braintree, scoring once, he had his contract cancelled and moved on – well not quite as it appears they still hold his registration. The 14 stone 6 foot 5 inch beast of a man wins everything in the air and has been a great support striker for some lads who subsequently went on to better things. He takes no prisoners, but he is not just a thug, as he has a good brain and a knack of forcing the issue where it counts in the box.
He started out at Cambridge United before joining Premier League Charlton Athletic, in March 1999. Brentford offered £100,000 in June 2000 where he rewarded them with 15 goals and almost three times as many assists in 89 appearances over three seasons. Millwall (2 goals in 21) then signed him near the end of the 2002/03 season where he spent an in and out year crowned with the Cup Final bow. Mark was loaned to Brighton (4 goals in 27) and then joined permanently before being loaned to Bristol City (4 goals in 11).
The year of our Lord 2006 was a good year for the veteran as he won his first international Cap for Barbados, scoring a hat-trick against Anguilla, the international equivalent of a pub team, in a 7-1 Caribbean Cup Qualifying match. He also joined Doncaster Rovers (6 goals in 54) in time to score the first ever goal at the Keepmoat Stadium. In two seasons at Donny Mark helped Rovers to promotion to The Championship via the play-offs before moving to Gillingham (5 goals in 52) for a season. They released him last summer when his contract expired, although he did have a goalless 4 game loan at Bradford under Jacko.
So on the plus side we have a big strong target man who will win everything in the air, on a try before we buy non-contract basis. So far so good, Mark seems to have bonded sufficiently with the squad during his trial, but he is certainly no slouch off the pitch either. McCammon has a penchent for openly criticising managers, something disciplinarian and social networking nemesis David Holdsworth will not like medium to long term. Dennis Wise and Mark Stimson felt his verbal force and he admitted to “differences” with Mark McGee. McCammon also called into a radio show after the host stated that he was not worth a place in the Brighton first eleven, telling the host, “Until you kick a ball in professional football, you can’t tell me I’m not good enough for this standard. I think what you said is very disrespectful.”
Not wishing to show any disrespect STMI would like to offer you the best Mark.