Lawrie Sanchez new Fulham boss

Fulham have sacked Chris Coleman with Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez taking over on a caretaker basis until the end of the season. No news yet about whether Sanchez will continue in his role with Northern Ireland on a longterm basis. It seems leading his team to victories over Spain, Sweden and England hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Fulham Football Club this evening announced its decision to replace Chris Coleman as Manager with immediate effect.

Chris Coleman has provided a fantastic service during his ten years at the Club and it is disappointing that the Club has no alternative but to part company. As a team and organisation Fulham Football Club has goals to attain and success to achieve and by no means can this be compromised.

As part of the re-structure, Steve Kean will also be replaced with immediate effect.

After consultation with the Irish FA President Jim Boyce it is agreed that Lawrie Sanchez will join as Caretaker Manager for the remaining five Premiership games of the season.

  • GavBelfast

    He has always said his ambition is to manage a Premiership side, but has also undertaken to see-out the Euro 2008 campaign. The international team doesn’t have another game until late August anyway. I fully expect him to honour that commitment – with any luck, the Euro 2008 campaign might last until July 2008!

    If he keeps them up (and they aren’t in one of the relegation places anyway as yet), it’ll do him no harm at all. If they go down, he can always say the damage was already done.

    Good luck to him – an odd time to sack a manager, though. That’s Mr Al-Fayed for you.

  • Doctor Who

    Lawrie Sanchez has assured the IFA that the arrangement is only until the end of the season and he has their backing. NI don´t have another game until August.

    I´m sure3 he will do well at Fullham.

    The only people stirring this up are beggars jealous of our current standing in our group, FIFA rankings and of course as No.1 fans in Europe (as officially recognised by UEFA).

    BTW George still haven´t seen any of those poached players capped at senior level or competitive under 21 level fo ROI as yet.

  • hasty

    Lawrie has been looking for a way out for the last 12 months, he seems to have finally got his big job.

    Jimmy Nicholl anyone !!!

  • George

    Doctor Who,
    nobody is stirring up anything. Chris Coleman has been sacked, harshly in my view, and Sanchez has taken over on a caretaker basis. If he keeps them up and impresses he could well be offered a full-time position next season. It will be interesting to see what happens then regarding his position with Northern Ireland.

    As for “poached” players, I think you are using the wrong word but we’ve had a 1,000 posts on that already.

    Don’t worry, we won’t have long to wait. The IFA have said they have a meeting with FIFA in April and we will finally get the answer to that question they asked way back in November.

    I am of the opinion the question was answered back then and remain as confident now as I did then that what I said back then will still hold good on the 1st of May.

    Personally I think the IFA are just going through the motions to give the appearance that they have done something when they know they can do nothing but, heh, we’ll know soon enough. Why speculate?

  • trevor

    “The only people stirring this up are beggars”

    dr no

    You’re a grat example of the problems that still blight the sectarian support in the North.

    Oh yes, and congratulations to Lawrie Sanchez, he deserves a chance in the big time.

  • Doctor Who


    “You’re a grat example of the problems that still blight the sectarian support in the North.”

    Steady on there fella, not a sectarian remark in sight. As well as beggar add bore and mope as well.


    Indeed why specualte.

  • GavBelfast

    To be fair to George, and I may be naively wrong, but I don’t think he was stirring it on this occasion, just providing a late-night news service, when it’s unusual for stories like this to break at midnight or thereabouts.

    Though this interest in so many things Northern, talk about a closet wannabe ….


  • Hey, we’re all gutted but we knew it was coming sooner or later. Sanchez has said he’ll see out the qualifiers and I’m sure he will.

    Nobody in the NI fanbase will begrudge him his success after all that he’s done for our wee country.

    Onwards and upwards.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Fulham are in a bit of a predicament, particularly if there is a winner from the West Ham- Sheffield Utd match this Saturday.

    Here’s there remaining fixtures: Reading (a), Blackburn (h), Arsenal (a), Liverpool (h) and Middlesbrough (a).

    Not an easy run-in, but Sanchez is just the type of Manager who can get that extra bit out of his players, as fans of the north will confirm.

    In any case, I’d expect him to stay on at Windsor Park in a part-time capacity for the Autumn fixtures which close out the Euro Qualifiers, before finally resigning to concentrate on the Premiership.

    I’d also not be surprised if his first Summer signing was David Healy…

    Feel a bit sorry for Coleman though.

  • Billy

    Dr Who

    Obviously Lawrie Sanchez has assured the IFA that this arrangement is only until the end of the season – otherwise he would be guilty of breach of contract.

    I believe that he will do a good job and keep Fulham up.

    If El-Fayed wants him as a full-time manager, then Lawrie will leave “Norn Iron” and take it.

    Despite what the (supposedly cross-community) “gawa” think, the NI job is not a big one. It is, at best, a stepping stone to a big job.

    There is no way that a massively successful businessman like El-Fayed will entrust his club (into which he has poured millions) to a part-time manager in the long term.

    If he does want Sanchez to take the job full-time from the start of next season, I don’t think Lawrie will turn it down just to stay with NI.

  • Dr Strangelove

    Here’s hoping that Fulham go down. They play shite football, can’t see Sanchez making that much of a difference.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Any chance he’d take Stan as his assistant?

  • Dec

    The only people stirring this up are beggars jealous of our current standing in our group, FIFA rankings and of course as No.1 fans in Europe (as officially recognised by UEFA).

    That’s not strictly true, is it? As far as I am aware NI fans won awarded the Brussels International Supporters Award for their efforts to stamp out sectarianism, charity work and general good humour and behaviour.

  • smcgiff

    ‘I’d also not be surprised if his first Summer signing was David Healy… ‘

    Spot on Chris.

  • Yokel

    The IFA have already considered the option of Snachez on a part time basis and so has Sanchez but has still to make up his mind. Have no doubt he would bring in NI players to Fulham if he stayed. Healy is the obvious one but Hughes & Davis from Villa if he can prise them away.

    I also dont think Lawrie will keep them up any more than Coleman would, not because they will necessarily will go down but because Coleman has done most of the donkey work weith teh points in the bag. In short if they are dead now they are dead, Sanchez or no. I don’t think he’ll turn the tide any more than Coleman could.

    If Sanchez does resign the NI job then Coleman wouldnt be a bad replacement. He’s actually done ok because on paper they are a perennial relegation struggle side. The fact that he’s kept them up before suggests he is no mug.

    Forget Jimmy Nicholl, wouldnt be up to it. Pity Dowie is now with Coventry…so that just leaves bringing back Billy Bingham then….

  • Dec


    Whilst it’s one thing to bandy around the names of former Premiership managers as potential NI managers, it shouldn’t be forgetten the NI job comes with a financial package many League One managers would sneer at. So, you may be on to something with Billy Bingham.

  • Yokel


    They have the money now alright, thanks to the success of Mr Sanchez and the players.

    Coleman would be within range though I have no idea what Bingham is doing these days.

  • Ringo

    I blame the wifeocrats for orchestrating the whole thing.

  • George

    the IFA (and FAI for that matter) don’t have the money or kudos to pay for a top CCC manager, never mind a Premiership one. Don’t forget they are struggling to raise the 325,000 to fix the Windsor Park roof.

    I would say with bonuses Coleman is on around a million a year and Sanchez is on well less than half that with the IFA.

  • Dec

    They have the money now alright, thanks to the success of Mr Sanchez and the players.

    Could you explain that exactly? How much money is raised by attendances of 14,500?

    would say with bonuses Coleman is on around a million a year and Sanchez is on well less than half that with the IFA.


    I’d say 1/10 of that would be closer to the mark.

  • John East Belfast

    The NI Manager Job is not full time anyway – there is a limited pool of players to choose from and it is not a case of being in the Buying market.
    Coaching is happening at club level and you are left with working on your set pieces as well as getting a diverse team to play together

    Therefore the job of the manager is to try and plug your weaknesses, exploit your strengths and motivate the players and create a team spirit.

    Sanchez obviously does all of this brilliantly however it shouldnt occupy him 52 weeks of the year.

    You cant help feeling if he had a decent assistant at NI then he could be part time NI and Full time with a Premiership club. If he had some of the NI squad in the latter then even better.

  • Yokel

    Lads, no one said Coleman would be on the same salary as he was at Fulham. Secondly, he isnt on a mil a throw, nowhere near it. Thats why Al Fayed had him.

    Thirdly its not the gates where the cash is being made. Its the merchandising and new sponsorship deals which are in the pipeline.

  • GAWA loyal fan

    ‘The NI Manager Job is not full time anyway’

    Exactly JEB-That’s why we should appoint David Jeffrey right now as our new manager. Big Davy’s motivational skills plus his tactical nous would allow him to finish the job and get us to Euro 2008.
    Sanchez has proven himself to be fickle and disloyal-just like Sammy Mac. There is no way that Big Davy would let his fellow ulstermen down, like what Lawrie has done.

  • IJP

    I really don’t see the difficulty.

    It is quite common for international managers also to hold club posts, indeed almost universal for senior international team coaches.

  • austin

    ‘There is no way that Big Davy would let his fellow ulstermen down, like what Lawrie has done.’ (sic)

    I wasn’t aware that Lawrie was letting anyone from Ulster down especially those in Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.

    Lawrie has done a great job but would David Jeffrey be up to it at that level? To be fair, Brian Kerr came from a domestic league background and in hindsight, he did quite well- Maybe you’re on to something, GAWA…………

  • Billy


    I don’t think that the issue is whether NI is a part-time job – frankly there is no question about that.

    The issue is whether someone like Al Fayed would accept someone managing his club while having a part-time interest in another team.

    Frankly, given his desire for success and the millions that he has poured into the club, I think there is no way he will accept someone who is not committed 100% of the time.

    Sanchez has already almost walked away from NI once and he has made no secret of his desire to manage full-time again (particularly in the premiership). He has also stated that he would like to see out his current contract – however, the fact that even the IFA are saying that they will talk to Fulham again in the summer shows that they are preparing themselves for the eventuality that Sanchez is offered a full-time contract and wants to leave NI.

    I think he deserves a shot at a big club. I honestly believe that, if he makes a good enough impression over the next two months, Fulham may well offer him a full-time contract. If this is conditional on him leaving the NI job, I don’t think he’ll hesitate.

  • gawa loyal

    I hear Jossy’s Giants are refusing all approaches for Sammy McIlroy as Lawrie’s replacement.

  • lee

    Davey Jeffrey would probably be unable to manage the team, if appointed.

    I mean, would Davey be given a dispensation to miss the odd mathc because he had to march in one of his orange order parades.

    And how would it look if the n.i manager was seen flying flags from his house every 12th.

  • SuperSoupy

    Dr Who,

    You got very angry with George over breaking this last night.

    How angry were you with Gary McAllister of the NISC for recognising that Lawrie is on his way out and the IFA should start preparing now a new manager now on the BBC tonight?

  • the meeja

    Steady on, David Jeffery for NI manager?

    I know he’d love it from the way he gets on in his Sunday Life column. But don’t forget he manages part-time players in a part-time league…!!!

    IFA need to be looking at bigger names than Lawrie – whatever happened to Gerry Armstrong? He did most of the groundwork as Lawrie’s assistant till last year. Big wigs in Windsor Pk should do all they can to bring him back, particularly with his knowledge of the European game.

    Also, think about it lads & ladies, Lawrie Sanchez can’t get away with signing any NI players for Fulham. Could you imagine the stick he would get the first NI and/or Fulham game he loses?? Headline: “Sanchez can only manage one team”, “We’re not Fulham we’re Northern ireland” etc etc.

    If I were him I’d stay well clear of NI players – for the only reason that he’d never live it down.

  • norman

    Lee, so what if the Northern Ireland manager expressed his Ulster culture through his Orange tradition?

    I for one hope Big Davy gets the job and he can march us to the new Field-hopefully our new Field of Dreams in the Ormeau Park

  • Cromwell

    I’ve heard it all now; Davy Jeffrey for Norn Iron manager!
    Yer talkin like a pan-loaf & yer boilers busted!
    Somebody’s on the wind-up!

  • Doctor Who


    Ten quid of my money aginst a crate of your petrol bombs that Sanchez will still be there come our last match in Spain.

    Even if he isn´t the number one fans in Europe as recognised by UEFA will not be going away you know.

  • Doctor Who

    The prat calling himself GAWA loyal is so obviously a troll, don´t feed him.

  • Bruce Banner

    GAWA loyal fan – you are well off the mark. Sammy McIlroy knew what the position was at the time – we were awful. Almost technically the worst in the world with our goal drought. He did the decent thing and walked and we are all the better for it, much as I am fond of the man. Davy Jeffrey – catch yourself on. Much as I like him as well going from managing an Irish league team to the international team is the equivalent of being going from being a Brownie leader to Prime Minister. I don’t see how Lawrie is being disloyal if he sees out his contract. He owes us nothing – we owe him a lot.

  • BP1078

    David Jeffrey?-
    Someone’s been on the funny smokes here, I think I’d rather have Staunton than big blue Davey.

  • Diluted Orange

    David Jeffrey!!!

    Possibly the most ridiculous suggestion for NI manager I have ever heard. He’s not even that good a Linfield manager – in 10 years or so in charge how many times has he won the league – this at the club which is head and shoulders above every other Irish league club in terms of finance and support.