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You are in: Berkshire > Saving Planet Earth > "If it is time Coppell wants, give it to him"

Steve Coppell

Coppell: predictions are a waste of time

"If it is time Coppell wants, give it to him"

BBC Radio Berkshire's sports editor Tim Dellor, who's commentated on every Reading FC game this season, reflects on the options for manager Steve Coppell in light of speculation he may resign from his post.

Rarely can the fans of a relegated club have been so unanimously behind the manager.

In the 24 hours following the final whistle at Pride Park BBC Radio Berkshire received more than a thousand texts (that's real texts rather than the imaginary ones recently favoured by ITV!).

"John Madejski's biggest challenge lies before him. How to keep the man who guided Reading to their first stint in the Premier League?  "

Tim Dellor

Almost without exception they called for Coppell to stay.

It is never very healthy for an organisation to rely so heavily on one individual, but Reading's manager is the lynchpin, the fulcrum, the brains and the pulse of the team.

The consequences of his departure could be catastrophic.

The players trust him, the fans like him, the Chairman respects him, even the media are amused by him.

He is a brilliant tactician, a shrewd judge of a player, and for someone of his age has a remarkable lengthy managerial CV.

Above all he is a decent, modest, private, hard working, sport-loving guy.  You cannot ask for any more, and you will not be able to name anyone better suited to getting Reading promoted back to the top flight.

Tim Dellor

One of his biggest strengths has been recognising his own weaknesses, and getting people around him to compensate those shortfalls.

He, Kevin Dillon and Wally Downes are the dream management ticket, covering off every criteria with their diverse characters.

Three Steve Coppells would be like a straight gin. The tonic of Dillon and Downes make it palatable. 

Like everyone working at the top end of professional football he is paid big bucks, and bearing in mind the intensity he has had to cope with over the past four and a half seasons, who would say he has not deserved that reward.

John Madejski's biggest challenge lies before him. How to keep the man who guided Reading to their first stint in the Premier League? 

Coppell may have already made up his mind. By the time you read this he may have already walked. How could/should the Chairman keep his manager?

Money is unlikely to lure him. He can command a huge wage wherever he goes.

A reminder he has money to spend, a Chairman who fully backs him, a squad with ability, and fans who want him to hang around, ought to help in the negotiations. He is not guaranteed any of those benefits at another club.

Money can't buy time, and that is what I suspect Steve Coppell really craves. He hinted earlier this season he might like a break from management.

It's an all-consuming job like no other, with demands flying in from all angles every day of the season. To be successful it takes monumental organisational and communication skills, and over time that becomes exhausting.

If negotiations fail, and Coppell can't be convinced to swap the golf course for the dug-out, he should be offered a sabbatical.

It has never happened before in football, but it is time for the game to catch up with other businesses. Valued staff need to be looked after.

If he wants six months in the sunshine, on the golf course, or studying the coaching and management methods in other sports, let him have it.

Kevin Dillon has been sitting next to him for half a decade, and is quite capable of looking after the shop for a few months while "the gaffer" is away.

If it is time Coppell wants, give it to him.

If it is money to spend, offer it to him. Until he can line up anyone better qualified to manage Reading, which John Madejski cannot right now, he must not lose Steve Coppell.                

last updated: 12/05/2008 at 11:55
created: 12/05/2008

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Kathy Taylor
I'd like to send this message to Steve Coppell:Steve, you have achieved something quite unique with Reading FC. You have achieved a level of honesty and integrity in a sport marred by greed and selfishness. Yes, you are first and foremost a football manager and the team has just been relegated. However, you've given the team and supporters a taste of things to come and I believe that ther IS more to come if you would be able to stay with the club. You may have had enough of the strains and stresses of managing a football team - even a great club like Reading - but I hope that you will consider staying because I truly believe that you can make a difference in football, one that is longer lasting than just getting to the Premier League. Your voice needs to be heard in the madness of English football and where better to do this than from the platform you've already built as the best manager that Reading FC has had. The fans, players and backroom staff love you, and the press and higher echelons of the FA need to listen to you, so PLEASE STAY.

Eric Bertrand
I can't beleive that Reading FC, the team that I have supported for 12 years since I came to England be relegated. I do not blame Mr Steve Coppel, he did a superb job taking Reading to the Premiere League 2 years ago.The First years as we all remember was a drewam year for the club we all love and support.. This some of the player let us down ex: Bikey, Fae did absolutly nothing for us a waste of money... and many more.. I don't think the Manager should alsways be blame for the poor team record ( certainely not Mr Steve Coppel) not this time, why always fired or let the manager go for the poor running of the team. NO why not fired some of the player that did nothing for the team they played.. No heart, no spirit??.. Mr Steve Coppel I want to thank you for what you did with Reading FC, You are a true Manager, your are a exemple to all of us.. If I may ask you please stay with Reading FC, the club need you,, The supporters need you. Please stay.....

Dawne Westmancoat
THe only thing worse than being relegated would be losing Steve Coppell. He is irreplaceable.We must keep him and his values in the game.Please stay Steve.

Dawne Westmancoat
THe only thing worse than being relegated would be losing Steve Coppell. He is irreplaceable.We must keep him and his values in the game.Please stay Steve.

ian
its not all his fault,its like any management job, you do your best but if the team behind do not then u r not to blame,money has a lot to say in this and a lot of the players thought they should have more,but why,just because they went up why be paid more,they did well but the team was not the same this seaseon,did not seem to click,perhaps they will understand this and be more interested this season and

Joan - Newbury
Please,please,please stay with the Royals Steve, we are all behind you.

Sarah Gibson
As someone who does not normally get round to sending in emails - I now feel an overwhelming desire as a loyal Royal to register my vote for Steve Coppell and earnestly hope that it is his desire to stay and keep the Reading "family" together because I feel he is the key to its cohesion.Only he knows what it will take to get Reading back to the Premiership.

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