Willie Donachie violated one of coaching’s golden rules and lost his job because of it.
Donachie resigned as manager of Newcastle United’s reserve team Thursday amid allegations that he hit one of his own players, reportedly Remie Streete, during a dressing-room altercation on Monday.
“Newcastle United can confirm that Willie Donachie has resigned from his position as Reserve Team Manager with immediate effect,” a statement on Newcastle’s website said. “The club will be making no further comment.”
The incident took place immediately following Newcastle’s 2-0 loss to rivals Sunderland in a U-21 Premier League game, according to the Guardian.
“Donachie was furious at a performance which came 48 hours after Newcastle’s first team had lost 3-0 at home to Sunderland and at a time when Mike Ashley, the club’s owner, has made it clear he expects youngsters to start graduating into Alan Pardew’s senior side from the junior ranks,” the report says.
“Angry dressing-room exchanges are understood to have ensued, eventually leading to a fight during which Donachie is alleged to have struck Remie Streete, a 19-year-old defender, who had conceded a penalty.
“When a complaint was made to Newcastle’s hierarchy, Streete had a meeting with Pardew. Donachie was then suspended and an investigation opened, swiftly followed by his resignation.”
Donachie, 62, was an important part of Newcastle’s coaching set-up. The former Manchester City and Scotland fullback initially joined the Magpies in 2009 as the assistant director of the club’s academy. Donachie was promoted to reserve team manager in 2010 — a position he held until Thursday.
While Streete has yet to debut for Newcastle’s first team, he has been on the bench in Premier League and League Cup games this season.
Donachie joins Delio Rossi among the ranks of coaches who lost their jobs because they fought players. In May 2012, Italian club Fiorentina fired Rossi after he grabbed and slapped Adem Ljajic during a Serie A (Italian first division) game.
These incidents hearken back to that classic episode of the The Simpsons, in which “General” Bart Simpson leads his friends in a battle against Nelson, the neighborhood bully.
At one point during boot camp, Bart slaps a shaken soldier, and Grandpa Simpson slaps Bart right afterward saying, “Bart, you can push them out of a plane, you can march them off a cliff, you can send them off to die on some God-forsaken rock, but for some reason, you can’t slap them. Now apologize to that boy immediately.”
Something tells us neither Donachie nor Rossi saw that one.
Photo via Twitter/@guardian_sport