Burton Albion: Nigel Clough to be replaced by Jake Buxton as Brewers boss

Nigel Clough
Nigel Clough was one of the longest serving managers in the EFL

Nigel Clough is to step down as manager of League One club Burton Albion and will be replaced by Jake Buxton.

Clough, 54, returned for a second spell in charge of the Brewers in 2015 and helped the club into the Championship for the first time in its history.

He had previously led the club to the brink of the Football League before leaving to manage Derby County in 2009.

Former Derby centre-back Buxton, 35, will take charge of Burton as player-manager "in the coming weeks".

Brewers chairman Ben Robinson indicated the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis had played a part in Clough leaving.

"Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic is having a dramatic impact on all football clubs, meaning we have to make difficult financial decisions going forward in order to safeguard the club and ensure it still exists for the supporters and the benefit of the community for generations to come," Robinson told the club website.

"At present we have no idea when football will be safe to restart and whether we will be able to play in front of crowds or behind closed doors, which brings a high degree of financial uncertainty.

"It's therefore with a heavy heart that after talks with Nigel, Gary and Simon we have agreed that their departure will help us meet these challenges."

Jake Buxton
Jake Buxton is Burton captain

Former Nottingham Forest, Liverpool, Manchester City and England striker Clough leaves along with assistant manager Gary Crosby, 56, his long-standing team-mate and managerial number two, and his brother Simon Clough, 55, who was his chief scout, as he had been at both Derby and Sheffield United.

"It has been an incredible two decades for Burton Albion," Nigel Clough said.

"I have worked with the chairman since 1998 and we have enjoyed a very long and successful working relationship.

"It's therefore with great sadness that Gary, Simon and I have decided to step away. We hope it helps the club with the financial pressures in these unprecedented times, and that it will also help the club secure the jobs of as many of the staff as possible going forward.

"We couldn't leave the club in better hands than with Jake, who as captain has shown himself to be a respected leader on and off the pitch."

Buxton will take over formally when his playing contract expires on 30 June.

"It's an immense honour to follow in the footsteps of Nigel Clough who has achieved so much in the game, especially here at Burton Albion," he said.

Analysis

BBC Radio Derby's Burton Albion commentator Mike Perkins

It is always difficult to predict how a manger's time at a football club will end but the announcement Nigel Clough is to step away from Burton Albion amid a global pandemic seems the result of a particularly unique set of circumstances.

Even if Clough was the first to remind you in interviews that "I am only here as long as the chairman wants me", the fact his association with the club stretched back to 1998 could be nothing other than a symbol of continuity.

In fact in my time covering the club I have only known Nigel Clough as the manager of Burton Albion.

The crowning achievement of his second spell will no doubt be survival in the Championship, the club's highest-ever finish in the pyramid. And, even though the feat couldn't be repeated, there were some memorable nights in the League Cup, including a run to the semi-finals in 2018-19.

As for Jake Buxton, he has been a talismanic figure on the pitch throughout his playing career and whenever you speak to him about his development as a coach it is obvious he has been relishing every moment.

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