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Cheltenham fans turn anger on the board after reports their manager is expected to leave

Cheltenham Town fans turn their anger on the board after reports emerged that their manager Darrell Clarke is expected to leave.

Journalist @JonPalmerSport tweeted on Thursday (23 May) morning: “Now fully expecting Darrell Clarke to leave Cheltenham Town this summer #ctfc”

He added in an article for Gloucestershire Live, that negotiations for a long-term agreement have come to a halt, and as a result, he will be leaving to embrace a fresh opportunity. Cheltenham are looking now appoint a new head coach as well as a director of football.

This has led to fans venting their frustration, questioning the board’s ambition, and are now looking to cancel their 2024/25 season ticket, of which Cheltenham have sold around 800 (as it stands at the time of writing).

Hours after Jon Palmer’s tweet, John Percy then said: “Manager movement all over the leagues – #BarnsleyFC are in talks to appoint Darrell Clarke as their new head coach after agreeing compensation with Cheltenham.”

On Thursday afternoon, Barnsley confirmed the appointment of the ex-Salisbury, Bristol Rovers, Walsall, Port Vale, Cheltenham boss.

SEE MORE: “This is a joke?!” – Fans stunned with Cheltenham set to appoint ex-Torquay manager as DOF

Towards the end of April, he expressed his deep disappointment as the club being relegated to League Two on the last day of the season.

Clarke was brought in September with the primary objective of ensuring that the Robins remained in League One, as they had endured a disastrous start to the season setting a record for the worst start to a season in EFL history by not scoring in their first 11 games.

Despite their efforts to secure a miraculous turnaround, having been in the bottom four since August, they suffered a 2-1 defeat against Stevenage on the final day, ultimately finishing two points from safety.

Here’s what he said after the clubs final game…

“Gutted for our supporters, gutted for everyone at the football club,” Clarke told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

“To miss out by a couple of points is gut-wrenching but the table doesn’t lie after 46 games.

“The boys have given me everything since I’ve been in the building, since I came to the club, but we just missed out.”

Clarke couldn’t confirm whether he would be at the club next season said “now was not the time” to discuss his future.

“I need to get me head around this, I’ve given everything I can to try and keep us in League One and I’ve failed to do that by the smallest of margins. I need time to settle and think,” he said.

“I need to speak about what the plan is moving forward and I’m sure them discussions will go further down the line now with the chairman and the stakeholders.”

Clarke won 12 of his 35 matches in charge, picking up an average of 1.22 points per game. This tally would have seen them finish in 17th place if replicated across the rest of the season.

But, he felt his side were lacking in “quality on a more regular basis”, having previously set a target of 15 wins to secure their safety.

“Heart, desire, application – the boys haven’t left anything out on the pitch that’s for sure,” he said.

“I always say this in life, it’s not how many times you get knocked down it’s how many times you get up. Tough day for the football club but it’s a great club and I’m sure we’ll bounce back.”

The club’s released and retained list:

Under Contract:
Max Harris
Lewis Freestone
Liam Kinsella
Elliot Bonds
Jordan Thomas
Tom Pett
Matty Taylor
Aidan Keena
Rob Street
Tom King

Contract Option Triggered:
Tom Bradbury

Out of Contract (Offers have been made):
George Lloyd

Scholars offered pro contracts:
Brandon Liggett
Freddy Willcox

Loans (Returning to parent clubs):
Andy Smith
Jack Shepherd
Joe Nuttall

Out of Contract (Released):
Jamie Pardington
Ben Williams
Liam Smith
Curtis Davies
Dan Adshead
James Olayinka
Josh Harrop
Adulai Sambu
Greg Sloggett

Departing after being offered extended stay:
Luke Southwood
Sean Long
Liam Sercombe

As mentioned, Cheltenham fans turn their anger on the board after reports their manager is expected to leave, this is what they and fans of other clubs said on Twitter…

@DCAtTheWheel: Answers and quickly. I don’t think we are a demanding fan base but the last two days or so, warrants a response from the club. Shining light of a manager, club captain and experienced stalwart all leave and we are left scratching our heads as to what is happening

@k__pvfc: You will rot for ages now and regret this decision. I cannot believe your board aren’t backing a manager of his calibre. Serial winner in L2

@RSawyl9499: Thought he had another year left on his contract? Things must be really bleak. Losing Clarke is an absolute disaster. Surely Russ at the wheel now.

@tjrw1985: @CTFCofficial This better be some sort of joke. Enough is enough now. If you don’t have a plan and the owners don’t want to invest, GO NOW before we und up back in the southern league.

@Abi_ctfc: Why did I renew 😭

@noodlestudios: Gutted, but fully understand and good luck to him.

@KeithIles: So now a manager hunt before we can start the rebuild, unless Russ is still working away on player recruitment – and we know how well that worked out last summer.

@tomin7508: Expected to leave FC

@barry_clemo4054: Did the board move the goalposts from when he signed his two year deal? If yes then fair enough if not then he’s bottling the challenge 🤷‍♂️

@tew1984: *goes back to bed*

@k_y8t: E I Ei Ei o back to the National League we go…..

@charliedot: No surprise! An extremely ambitious, extremely capable manager isn’t gonna stick around with our whimpering, semi-mute board. Embarrassing, really.

@Fredsterface: @CTFC_SLO how do I cancel a season ticket?

@disco_shippers: Way too good for us anyway, deserves a forward thinking progressive club.

@mayhem357_mark: Well this summer could not have gone anyway worse if we tried 🥹

@ctfcevesham: So the board have told him the plan is…. there is no plan. Well done everyone

@JW131190: Fantastic one of the best ever managers we’ve had and we just let him slip through our fingers club is becoming an absolute joke

@DadgeMark: Sadly this club really is starting to look like it’s imploding . We seem to have really wealthy owners who don’t want to invest in the club and a part time Board that are losing the confidence of a lot of the fan base.

@lazenbeee: You couldn’t make this stuff up 😂 Always hoped we would get a CTFC v Gloucester City (proper) derby in the future. Was hoping it would be in the FA Cup but more likely in NLN. #shambles

@nathan_simpkins: There it is 🙈

@Charlie_ctfc: Forest green rovers were coming for you

@DanNorris840359: Board next please. What a shambles

@pfloyd8989: One of the greatest managers in league 1 and 2 and your board absolutely bottle it. They deserve everything they get the board do.

@thomashenryford: Can’t wait to for all the happy clappers to say this isn’t the board’s fault

@AlexWin36821772: Happy Thursday everyone 👍🏻

@apusapus8: RIGHT ! Now i expect a response from the board or some dramatic changes within the club ?

@apusapus8: I will wait to renew my season ticket until the club take some positive action, or Bishops Cleeve will benefit they are a progressive club who deserve supporting.

@adeellis: We will have to bring back Duff. If only 😪

@bafc_lancaster: . I backed them to go up the other day based on him being there.

@holding_mf_role: It’s my birthday tomorrow so thanks a lot to the #ctfc board for absolutely ruining it already. We are pathetic.

@maxihobbs: Derby days with Gloucester coming back. He was the ray of light we had. Hard to feel in anyway positive about next season ⬇️

@whippy31: 🤦🏻‍♂️ #BloxhamOut

@caldy003: I’m in the minority amongst Walsall fans but I’d love to see what he would have done with last years squad. He’s a good manager, someone who is not afraid to change it to win.

Indecision over Elliot costing @SkyBetLeagueOne football.
Lost key players & Clarke’s departure imminent.
Potential @SkyBetLeagueTwo promotion is now a fight for survival.
A @EFL club with an incompetent, sunday league board.
A domino effect #ctfc

@MattBadweather: To any of you deluded people that for whatever bizarre reason still had faith in the board…this is the outcome. #BloxhamOut #Ctfc

@PunditSid: I couldn’t give a toss if the board are fans. I’m a fan doesn’t mean I’d be any good at running the football club. The people running the club should be running it cause they’re the best for the job not just because “they’re fans”. Their actions also say otherwise #ctfc

@JWxttsy: The past year has been abysmal, but it’s okay because we still have a club & are punching above our weight anyway 🤪

@Tommy_crommy: Is it time to get the bedsheets out?

@dan_batemannn: A good manager in my opinion. Nearly kept them up even though they were just as bad as us this season. I’m sure there will be a few clubs lining up for him.

@rvc86: Not surprised at all. That fans forum was more or less the final nail in the coffin for me. It was clearly evident for everyone to see the board were on a totally different planet to this guys vision and strategy in how we rebuild both on and off the pitch.

@JonWagstaffe: Total small club mentality from the club. We’ve got a clown running this circus! The rebuild is going to be awful without an experienced coach at the helm. If you’ve got a season ticket this year enjoy it. We’ll be watching us against FC Tesco in a few seasons

@1887fin: Was actually thinking about renewing but I actually don’t know if I can put up with another year of this shitshow.

@Ollie_Furniss10: Last thing we needed was another summer of total upheaval – it’s hindered us the last couple of years. Felt we had a real chance next season with DC in charge but that’s just come crashing back to earth. It’s all doom and gloom again 🤣 #ctfc

@CTFC_2012: We are in huge trouble. Cannot be stated how good this man is, and what was a potential promotion challenge has instantly turned to – can we find 2 teams worse than us to maintain our football league status? #ctfc

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