Jose Riga has been handed the managerial job at Charlton Athletic, following their decision to dismiss Chris Powell on Tuesday.
In recent weeks Powell has been in discussions with the Addicks over a new contract, but club owner Roland Duchatelet has revealed differences in how to move forward, together with the poor form which has left the team at the foot of the Championship table, has contributed to their decision to relieve him of his duties.
“We have been working with Chris Powell and his representatives for a couple of weeks to try and agree a contract extension which would have seen us continue to work together,” said Duchatelet on Tuesday morning. “There was good progress, but we could not reach an agreement over the club’s football strategy going forward.
“The situation put a strain on the working relationship between Chris Powell and the board, and therefore I think it is best for all parties that we part ways at this stage. I would like to thank Chris for his commitment and hard work with the club over the past three years. The club enjoyed a number of good times under his leadership.
“However, given the club’s position in the league and the number of important fixtures upcoming, I felt this difficult decision was unavoidable at this time. We will look to quickly appoint a replacement who we feel will give us the best chance of avoiding relegation from the Championship. I can assure supporters this was not an easy decision, but it has been made with the club’s future in mind. Time will tell if it is the right decision.”
Powell, who made over 200 league appearances for the Londoners during two spells as a player, has been in charge at The Valley since January 2011. He led them to the League One title at the end of his first full season in charge, and ended last term just three points off a playoff position. They are now currently four points adrift of safety although they have games in hand, whilst there was more disappointment on Sunday when they were defeated 2-0 at Sheffield United in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
Meanwhile, Duchatelet has turned to his Belgian compatriot Riga as a replacement. The 56-year-old has in the past worked as technical director of Italian giants Milan, and has managed in his homeland at Standard Liege. Sky Sports claim he has already arrived at the club and even took training after Powell’s departure, and will be firmly in the dugout for the visit of Huddersfield Town on Wednesday evening.