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Southend sack manager and immediately replace him with former boss

Southend United have chosen to sack their manager Mark Molesley and immediately replace him with a former boss in Phil Brown.

The Shrimpers currently sit 23rd in the League Two table, taking 36 points from 40 games played for the 2020/21 campaign, five points from safety.

Molesley became the manager at Roots Hall on the 13th of August 2020 on a three-year contract.

During his 250 games in charge of Southend in the first spell, Phil Brown used 92 players. Mark Molesley has used 46, with 53 being named in the matchday squads… in just 7 months and 45 games.


The club last night terminated the contract of manager Mark Molesley, together with the majority of his back room staff.

We wish to thank Mark for the commitment throughout his tenure. The Board recognise the management team worked tirelessly. However, whilst considerable further support was afforded during the January window, results on the pitch remained, unfortunately, inconsistent.

Phil Brown, who previously managed the club between 2013 and 2018, will take charge with immediate effect.

Brown, who signed some members of the existing squad, will be assisted by his former colleague Ricky Duncan (Head of Academy) and Craig Fagan (Under 23 Manager), who played under Brown when he managed Hull City between 2006 and 2010.


Three weeks ago, Molesley said he retained the belief Southend can win the battle against relegation.

“You can’t hide from our situation or the pressure.

“You have to stand up and use it as motivation. The pleasing thing is we’re putting crosses in and having shots.

“The more you do that the more chance you have of scoring. But sadly it was another day where we haven’t made the most of our chances.

“Goalscoring is a confidence thing and the quicker we get one the more I feel we will kick on.

“We just need that goal but we’re running out of games. We’ve got to act and we’ve got to act quickly. We’re still chasing and it’s not just Barrow now either.

“There are a couple of others you can get your sights on but we need a win and we need one fast, we’re well aware of that.”


Senior career
1978–1985 – Hartlepool – 217 games (8 goals)
1985–1988 – Halifax – 135 games (19 goals)
1988–1994 – Bolton – 256 games (14 goals)
1994–1996 – Blackpool – 44 games (5 goals)
Total – 652 games (46 goals)


Bolton (caretaker) – 22 September 1999 until 19 October 1999 – 6 games, 4 wins,  1 draw, 1 defeat, 66.7 win %
Derby – 24 June 2005 until 30 January 2006 – 33 games, 7 wins, 14 draws, 12 defeats, 21.2 win %
Hull – 4 December 2006 until 15 March 2010 – 157 games, 52 wins, 40 draws, 65 defeats, 33.1 win %
Preston – 6 January 2011 until 14 December 2011 – 51 games, 15 wins, 15 draws, 21 defeats, 29.4 win %
Southend – 25 March 2013 until 17 January 2018 – 251 games, 98 wins, 65 draws, 88 defeats, 39.0 win %
Swindon – 12 March 2018 until 11 November 2018 – 32 games, 10 wins, 11 draws, 11 defeats, 31.3 win %
Pune City / Hyderabad FC – 24 December 2018 until 11 January 2020 – 20 games, 4 wins, 5 draws, 11 defeats, 20.0 win %
Total – 532 games, 187 wins, 147 draws, 198 defeats, 35.2 win %

Fans reacted as Southend sack manager Mark Molesley and immediately replace him with former boss Phil Brown…

@DPan0059: This is disgraceful – timing TERRIBLE! 6 games to go, to avoid the drop, if you are gonna pull the pin on MM you should have done this Atleast 2 months ago. Also MM had to play a youth team for the first 10 games, this is farcical.

@jontyedmondson: Couldn’t pay the embargo off but can pay to sack the whole backroom staff and MM. Well done Ron. You’ve done it again.

@CMRandall92: Our club is a circus and Ron Martin is the ringleader

@TomasPhillips84: Beyond this season, for as long as RM is at the helm, the club I’ve supported for 30+ years will be dead to me. I’ll be taking my money elsewhere. Embarrassing.

@DonsEssex: Post-embargo MM took us from certain relegation to having a fighting chance. Ron now spunking more money on paying off MM & his team. Running the club out the league and into the ground. What happens when 🤡 Brown doesn’t keep us up? Never been angrier supporting Southend.

@djmikejolly: If I was cynical about how the club is run I’d say this has more to do with season ticket sales for The National League rather than survival. RM knows that with MM still at the helm there would have been a mass exodus when relegation was confirmed. Should’ve done this weeks ago.

@sjapresley: Unreal. Given time and resources MM would have come good but he was dealt a bad hand from the off. Begs the question why action wasnt taken sooner, feel this is too late

@annejoh: Absolute shambles. I wish Molesley all the best in the future, and that he finds a club that will treat him with respect. A no-lose for Brown – stay up and he’s a miracle worker, go down and walk away having ‘done his best’. MM could have been a real asset in the national league

@ashcollins234: Harsh but I can’t say I’m unhappy about it

@owenjones539: It’s the last roll of the dice ! If brown can get these players going we’ll stay up but I think we needed this change a few weeks ago. I hope not but it might be too late IMO

@jontyedmondson: 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 I am sorry. But Ron Martin, that is absolutely criminal. Saying that Mark had the players from January but couldn’t get the results is absolutely astounding

@jervetheswerve1: If we stay up their heroes if we go down their not. At least RM had the balls to do something we would not stay up under MM, we all know that.

@Seymourc30: Should of been done weeks ago

@TidburyG: Just goes to show how awful a job Ron has done. This decision is based on all this previous poor decisions. MM was a good striker short of a winning team although his team selections were quite bizarre due to current league position. Good luck Phil.

@PeterGreenway1: We really are a joke, Molesley was doing a decent enough job considering the shit show he joined. Yes too many draws and too few goals but we’ve been heading for the drop all season and that’s not the manager it’s the boards fault

@scoHammer88: 3 months too late

Reaction continued as Southend sack their manager and immediately replace him with their former boss…

@therealdaddsy: Those players who played under PB before are only still here because he gave them cripplingly massive contracts. Ron shifting the blame to the manager while pretending he was supported is a joke. Embarrassing

@TheoPaphitis4: We were 1 good striker away from being a team that stayed up relatively comfortably. Panicked, if we needed a change in manager. This is too late. If we are going down regardless, why not let Molesley try to rebuild us back. Need stability more than anything when going down.

@TonyRAgg: Has Ron got some electrical work that needs doing? 😂 Please stop listening to Harry Redknapp for advice on new managers though, didn’t work with Bond, & MM proved a catastrophic failure 😱

@jamesmcclure27: Another statement where Ron ultimately shifts blame on to someone else. Failure to remain a league club sits firmly with him.

@simoncooper99: Right decision but probably too late, PB available so why not? Smarter thing would have been appointing James Coppinger as player coach before Christmas.

@Jones616Kevin: This season just lurches from one disaster to another. Can’t help but think that if the money used to pay off MM and the staff had been used to clear the embargo then we wouldn’t even be in this position. Ron, you’ve killed our beloved football club

@NickLapwood: Like to wish Molesley all the best for the future. A shame he didn’t have a proper squad at the beginning of the season.

@Matt_Bacon36: Considerable support in the January transfer window? You mean grabbing whatever’s left available because we didn’t support the manager at the start of the season

@JamieGreen95: Absolute fucking shambles, the death of the club and our inevitable fall into non league is on Ron’s hands. Woeful management of the club, hand cuffed Molesley from the start

@Moorhouse79: That is a really classless statement. The sentence about squad strengthening was totally unnecessary. Molesley deserved better than that.

@Lucasleslie11: What a joke of a club we are. Molesley was forced into using under 21/under 18s players for over half the season. And yes results haven’t been good lately but if we go down there’s only ONE person to blame – Ron fucking Martin.

@jackcurtis90: That’s an awful decision, he has pulled off a minor miracle to even give you a chance of staying up! Pathetic

@Archieralph5: Fucking disgrace of a club

@JMSullivan99: Hitting new lows every week. Fuck off Ron.

@JoshuaJames1303: @SUFCRootsHall This club is an absolute disgrace. Ron martin needs to get the fuck out. Shambolic. The audacity to do this consistently to manager after manager. You should all be ashamed.

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