Michael Laudrup sacked: Manager pays price for 'apathy' at sliding Swansea City

The Dane had been under increasing pressure with the club winning just one of their last 10 Premier League matches

Swansea have “parted company” with manager Michael Laudrup.

VLess than a year after Michael Laudrup led Swansea City to a first-ever major trophy, his reign as manager came to an abrupt end when the former Denmark international was sacked amid reports of “apathy” among his playing squad.

With Swansea having recorded just one win in their last 10 Premier League matches to leave them only two points clear of the relegation zone, Laudrup was informed of his fate following a meeting with the Swansea chairman, Huw Jenkins. He becomes the sixth Premier League manager this season to leave his post.

Club captain and veteran defender Garry Monk will take charge for Saturday’s  derby against arch-rivals Cardiff City and “for the foreseeable future”, with first-team coach Alan Curtis set to assist him for the crucial match at the Liberty Stadium.

Despite reports of strained relations with Swansea’s board since a dispute over transfer targets in the summer, news of Laudrup’s departure still came as a shock, given that Jenkins had on Monday dismissed reports he was considering making a change. Yet a statement released by the club explained the reasoning behind the decision to dispense with the 49-year-old, who is now expected to agree a compensation package.

“It is a decision we have taken reluctantly, but it’s a decision made in the best interests of Swansea City Football Club and our supporters,” said Jenkins.

“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 back-room 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.”

Laudrup signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract within weeks of the 5-0 victory in the Capital One Cup final over Bradford City at Wembley in February last year – a deal that included a £10m release clause. However, a poor end to the season and disputes over prospective transfer targets in the summer began to erode some of the Dane’s support at boardroom level.

Michael Laudrup led Swansea to Capital One Cup glory last season (Getty) Michael Laudrup led Swansea to Capital One Cup glory last season (Getty)
Despite reaching the last 32 of the Europa League and knocking Manchester United out of the FA Cup, a record of just eight Premier League victories and 18 defeats in Laudrup’s last 35 games at the helm has turned Swansea into unexpected relegation candidates. A training ground clash between Monk – who joined the club in 2004 when they were still playing in the fourth tier but has made just one appearance so far this season – and Chico Flores two weeks ago led to police being called after the Spanish defender allegedly threatened his team-mate with a brick.

That incident proved to be the beginning of the end for Laudrup, who has been accused by some board members of “taking his eye off the ball”, having been linked with the managerial vacancy at Tottenham earlier this season. With increased pressure to stay in the Premier League this season given the extra revenue from the new television deal, it was felt that they would be better served by parting company with the man who has previously managed Brondby, Getafe, Spartak Moscow and Real Mallorca.  

Swansea’s odds for relegation were immediately cut from 8-1 to 11-2, although sources close to the club admitted there are no immediate plans to find a successor beyond Monk. The 34-year-old had been tipped to be given a coaching role under Laudrup but, with the club having a history of handing unproven managers an opportunity, it is likely that Monk and Curtis will be given time to guide Swansea away from trouble.   

Laudrup, a former Real Madrid, Barcelona and Denmark midfielder, was appointed to succeed Brendan Rodgers in the summer of 2012 and took them to a ninth-placed finish last season. He almost left following a falling-out over his agent Bayram Tutumlu in June, but was eventually allowed to make eight permanent signings and take three players on loan.

Of those only Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony has been a real success and Laudrup had faced increased pressure from supporters following a lacklustre defeat to fellow strugglers West Ham on Saturday. Now, though, with Cardiff waiting to take advantage on Saturday, Jenkins faces the biggest test of his tenure.

“I hope all our supporters can fully understand how difficult this period has been for us and I would urge everyone connected to the football club to get behind Garry Monk, the staff and players,” he said.

 

Suggested Topics
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvAs the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian on why he'll never bow to critics who habitually circle his work
Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Keeper flaps at Nasri's late leveller, but Black Cat striker's two goals in 10 minutes had already done damage
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
News
peopleRyan Gosling says yes, science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
Life & Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the Peak District National Park
tech
News
Paul Weller, aka the Modfather, performing at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport
people
Life & Style
Michael Acton Smith founded Firebox straight out of university before creating Moshi Monsters
techHe started out selling silliness with online retailer Firebox, before launching virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
News
Ethical matters: pupils during a philosophy lesson
educationTaunton School's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success
Arts & Entertainment
Play It Forward: the DC Record Fair in Washington, US
musicIndependent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads on Record Store Day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal