Paul Scholes resigns as Oldham manager claiming he was misled

Guardian sport on 14 March 2019

Paul Scholes has resigned as the manager of Oldham after 31 days in charge, claiming he was misled over the amount of control he would be allowed and did not find it possible to work as he intended.

The former Manchester United midfielder won his first match as the manager of his boyhood team with a 4-1 victory over Yeovil but that was his only win in seven games, and the subsequent three draws and three defeats have left Oldham in 14th place in League Two.

The 44-year-old joins Gary Neville in the awkward position of being an outspoken pundit unable to put his ideas into effective practice when given the chance, though at least he has left on his own terms. Neville was sacked after less than four months at Valencia.

Scholes may have been facing the same fate after losing at home to Morecambe and being held by Crewe and Cambridge, though in a statement released after informing the club of his decision on Thursday afternoon he suggested disappointment at promises he claimed had not been kept.

“It is with great regret that I have decided to leave with immediate effect,” Scholes said. “The fans, the players and my friends and family all knew how proud I was to take this job, and I hoped at the very least to see out my initial term of 18 months as the manager of a club I’ve supported all my life.

11 Feb: Appointed
12 Feb: Oldham 4-1 Yeovil
16 Feb: Oldham 1-1 Crewe
19 Feb: Oldham 1-2 Morecambe
23 Feb: Bury 3-1 Oldham
2 Mar: Oldham 1-1 Stevenage
9 Mar: Cambridge 1-1 Oldham
12 Mar: Lincoln 2-0 Oldham
14 Mar: Resigns

“But in the short period since I took on the role it unfortunately became clear I would not be able to operate as I intended and was led to believe. I wish the fans, the players and the staff – who have been tremendous – all the best for the rest of the season and will continue to watch and support the club as a fan.”

Scholes is believed to have insisted on no interference from the owner, Abdallah Lemsagam, as a condition of becoming the manager. A club statement on his departure limited itself to thanking him for his services and wishing him well.

“We would like to place on record our thanks to Paul for his efforts during his spell in charge and would like to wish him well for the future,” Oldham’s statement said. “An update on the permanent replacement will be made as soon as possible.”

Lemsagam, a Moroccan former football agent who took over Oldham in January 2018, said when he appointed Scholes that “Paul will have my backing 100%”.

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