Swansea City Fires Michael Laudrup Live: Gary Neville Blasts Swans’ Decision

Michael Laudrup6:30 p.m.: Swansea City’s decision to fire Laudrup hasn’t been universally endorsed.

Gary Neville, one of the most respected pundits in the English game, criticized the Swans for embracing the culture of short-term thinking when it comes to managerial decisions. Neville believes the players will ultimately suffer the most.

Do you agree with Neville’s assesment? Vote now.

3:45 p.m. ET: Another one bites the dust.

Swansea City fired Michael Laudrup as manager Tuesday. The change comes just over 11 months after Laudrup led the club to the first major trophy in its history — the 2013 League Cup. Laudrup is Swansea City’s first in-season managerial casualty in 10 years, but the club exists in a different world than it did back then.

Swansea City currently occupies 12th place in the standings but it is just three points clear of the relegation zone with 14 games to play. With Premier League survival (and its accompanying riches) at stake, chairman Huw Jenkins decided to change course after 19th months of life under Laudrup.

“It is a decision we have taken reluctantly,” the BBC reports Jenkins told the club’s website. “But it’s a decision made in the best interests of Swansea City football club and our supporters.”

The Swans have struggled under Laudrup recently. If a dreadful run of one win in their last 10 games wasn’t bad enough, friction between factions of players and between Laudrup, Jenkins and other board members threatened to plunge the club into chaos.

Laudrup went to Paris for two days following Saturday’s 2-0 loss to West Ham, and players were also given a short break. Upon returning to Wales on Tuesday, Laudrup was met with news that the club had made a unilateral decision to add former captain (and current squad player) Gary Monk and recently appointed academy consultant Pep Clotet to his coaching staff.

One day before firing Laudrup, Jenkins dismissed rumors that Laudrup’s job was under threat.

“It’s difficult for me to say anything because there isn’t anything to discuss,” Jenkins said, according to the Guardian.

Laudrup and Jenkins met later in the day, and the Dane became the seventh Premier League manager to lose (or walk away from) his job this season shortly afterward.

“It is the first time in nearly 10 years that the club has parted with a manager in this way, but we had to remove the constant uncertainty surrounding the club and Michael’s long-term future with us.

“I had a meeting with Michael today in a final attempt to support him and establish a way to improve the work of the backroom team to secure the results we need over the final 14 Premier League games.

“However, after thinking long and hard about the best way forward, I felt it was unlikely we would achieve a stable environment at the club to allow us to get back to basics and produce the performance levels that have served Swansea City so well over the last few years.

“Now we need to put that uncertainty behind us and move forward as a united football club on all fronts, while placing on record our gratitude to Michael for the work he has done over the last 18 months and wish him well for the future.”

League Cup success and Swansea City’s attractive passing style in 2012-13 made a candidate to manage one of the Premier League’s big clubs. It was thought that Laudrup was considering other options, but he signed a new contract in March, which reportedly contained a £10 million ($16.3 million) release clause to keep other interested clubs at bay.

Laudrup’s commitment to Swansea City didn’t prevent problems between him and Jenkins from arising. The pair reportedly clashed last summer over the club’s transfer business when Laudrup wanted to use his own agent to facilitate purchases. Jenkins balked at Laudrup’s demands, and the Danish tactician continued to manage the club — albeit under a cloud of uncertainty.

Swansea City sputtered before the recent downturn in form, amid rumors of a dressing-room division between Spanish and British players. Those rumors burst made headlines last month when police were called to Swansea City’s practice facility after defender Chico Flores allegedly threatened to hit Monk with a brick.

Laudrup is gone now, and Monk is in charge. Monk, 34, has taken on the role of “head coach,” and he’ll be in charge Saturday when Swansea hosts local rivals (and fellow relegation contenders) Cardiff City. It’s unknown how long Monk will hold onto the role, as Swansea City has offered the manager’s job to Everton assistant manager Graeme Jones, according to the Telegraph.

That’s where the situation stands right now, but we’ll follow this story as it develops. Watch this space for updates in the coming hours and days.

Click here to read about Swansea’s 2013 League Cup triumph — the high point of Laudrup’s reign at Swansea City.

Click here to read about the fight between Swansea City’s Chico Flores and Gary Monk

Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here.

Photo via Facebook/Swansea City Football Club

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