Paul Sturrock 'politely declines' opportunity to lead Southend at Wembley

Manager was fired but offered chance to manage team for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final

Paul Sturrock has had a change of heart and turned down the chance to manage Southend in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Wembley.

Chairman Ron Martin announced on Sunday that Sturrock had been sacked as boss of the Shrimpers but that, bizarrely, he would return to take charge for the final against Crewe on Sunday, April 7.

Scottish boss Sturrock then said that he would not only be leading the team out but would also be taking training next week and picking the team.

That presented an unusual situation once Phil Brown was confirmed as the League Two club's new manager on Monday.

Exactly who would be pulling the strings next weekend remained unclear after Brown was unveiled to the press on Tuesday morning, with the former Hull boss saying he hoped the Wembley situation would be "resolved in the next few days".

Southend today stated on their official Twitter feed: "Paul Sturrock has announced he has politely declined the chairman's offer for him to manage the team at Wembley.

"Paul will travel with the supporters to the game and sit in amongst the fans. He says he is looking forward to a few beers with you all."

Brown will manage Southend in the showpiece final against Crewe as the Essex club play in their first-ever Wembley final, where they will be backed by around 30,000 supporters.

PA

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