The top six favourites to become next Carlisle United boss has been revealed as the club sack their head coach on Sunday morning.
Chris Beech has departed the struggling League Two club after a poor run of form, wit the decision coming after a 3-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers on Saturday which left them third from bottom.
Beech, 47, arrived at Brunton Park from Rochdale in November 2019, guiding the club to safety and then to a 10th-place finish last term.
Carlisle sit just two points above the relegation places having taken just one point from their past five matches and two wins this season.
So who are the top six favourites to become next Carlisle united boss? Take a look at what the bookies are saying below…
6) Sol Campbell – 12/1
Sol Campbell is an English professional football manager and former player who was most recently the manager of National League club Southend United.
He previously managed Macclesfield Town from November 2018 to August 2019, and was heavily praised for performing a miracle in keeping them up, before leaving due to the problems at the club.
Campbell came in at Macclesfield Town in November 2018, then bottom of League Two and five points adrift of safety. Under Campbell, Macclesfield finished 22nd in League Two, three points above the bottom two relegation places. They stayed up on the last day of the season with a 1–1 draw with Cambridge United. He oversaw eight wins and 12 draws in his 30 games in charge. It was announced on 15 August 2019 that Campbell would be leaving the financially troubled club, by mutual agreement. In December 2019, Campbell backed a HM Revenue and Customs bid to wind-up the club, claiming to be owed £180,000.
On the 22nd of October 2019, Campbell was appointed manager of EFL League One club Southend United. Campbell watched his new side lose 7–1 to Doncaster before taking charge for his first game — a 3–1 home defeat to Ipswich Town. On the 18th January 2020, Southend won their second game under Campbell with a 2–1 victory away at Accrington Stanley, the club’s first league win since September 2019. However, financial constraints prevented Campbell from signing any new players during the January 2020 transfer window. In June 2020, the season was ended early due to the COVID-19 pandemic in England. At the time Southend were second from bottom in League One, 16 points from safety. Following a decision not to restart the season, Southend were relegated to League Two. Campbell left the club on 30 June 2020.
A centre back, he had a 20-year career playing in the Premier League and an 11-year international career with the England national team.
5) Sam Ricketts – 10/1
Sam Ricketts is a professional football coach and former player. He was most recently serving as the manager of Shrewsbury Town.
As a player, his favoured position was at full back, where he was able to play either side as well as being able to operate at the centre of defence. He played over 100 games for Swansea City before playing Premier League football for both Hull City and Bolton Wanderers. He left Bolton in 2013 and captained Wolves to the League One title with a record points total. Furthermore, he represented Wales at international level, making over 50 appearances for the national team.
After his retirement from playing, Ricketts went into coaching, inaugurally spending a week working alongside Brendan Rodgers’s backroom staff at Scottish Premiership champions Celtic. Rodgers then advised Ricketts to begin coaching at academy level to gain experience, with the latter taking his advice and joined the academy coaching set-up at his former side Wolves in 2017.
A year into his role, Ricketts left to become the first team manager of National League club Wrexham, signing a three-year contract, beginning in May 2018. On his managerial debut, his team won 1–0 at Dover Athletic. During his brief spell in charge, Ricketts guided Wrexham to 13 victories out of a possible 23, with his side constantly being in the running to gain promotion to the EFL throughout his tenure.
In December 2018, he was told by club officials to stay away from their FA Cup second round match against Newport County, amid speculation that he was poised to be appointed the new manager of League One side Shrewsbury Town, a local rival. With compensation agreed, he was subsequently appointed their manager days later; Wrexham were sat fourth in the table when he left.
On the 3rd of December 2018, Ricketts was appointed manager of Shrewsbury on a 21⁄2-year contract, leaving a Wrexham side fourth in the table. A 1–1 draw away at Coventry City on the 28rd of April mathematically secured League One survival for Ricketts and the club.
Due to the pandemic, the 2019–20 League One season was cut short and it was decided that final league positions would be based on a points-per-game basis. This saw the club finish 15th in the final table.
A 2–2 draw at Milton Keynes Dons, in which the Shrews led 2–0, on the 24th of November 2020 turned out to be the last straw as Ricketts and assistant manager Dean Whitehead were relieved of their duties a day later on 25 November. The club sat 23rd in League One after 13 league games, gaining only 9 points from a possible 39.
4) Shaun Derry – 10/1
Shaun Derry is an English former professional footballer and manager who is currently professional development coach in the academy of Premier League club Crystal Palace. He previously managed Notts County and Cambridge United, and played for Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Queens Park Rangers among other clubs. Derry was known for his hard-tackling and aggressive midfield style, and was primarily a defensive midfielder but could also play at right-back.
Derry was appointed manager at Notts County in November 2013. Despite looking destined for relegation, Derry secured Notts’s League One status with six wins from the last nine games, a draw on last day of season kept County up by three points. He was sacked on 23 March 2015 with Notts County one place above the relegation positions in League One on goal difference and having won only three games in their previous 24 league matches.
Derry was appointed manager of League Two club Cambridge United on the 12th of November 2015. On the 9th of February 2018, following a poor run of form, Derry left the club by mutual consent.
In June 2018, Oxford United announced Derry’s appointment as first-team coach, under manager Karl Robinson. Derry played, and scored a penalty, during a pre-season friendly victory over Irish club Longford Town in July 2018.
In September 2019, Derry returned to Crystal Palace as professional development coach in the club’s academy system.
3) Paul Tisdale – 8/1
Paul Tisdale is an English former professional footballer and manager, and more recently was in an advisory role at Colchester United.
As a player, Tisdale represented Southampton, Bristol City, FinnPa, Panionios and Yeovil Town during a career which began in 1991 and concluded in 2000, playing primarily as a midfielder. During his time at Exeter City, he remained registered as a player between 2007 and 2016, making his debut as a late substitute in a 2–1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday at the end of the 2010–11 season and naming himself as a substitute in the EFL Trophy match at Oxford United on 30 August 2016.
Tisdale launched his managerial career at Team Bath. Having managed Exeter City from June 2006 until June 2018, he was, for 19 days, the longest-serving manager at one club in the English Football League.
Tisdale was appointed manager of newly relegated League Two club MK Dons on the 6th of June 2018 ahead of the 2018–19 season. After a near-perfect month which saw the club gain 16 points from a possible 18, he was named League Two Manager of the Month for October 2018 by the EFL for only the second time in his career. Tisdale went on to lead MK Dons to automatic promotion back to League One at the first attempt, achieving a third-place finish.
Following a poor start to the 2019–20 season in which Milton Keynes Dons achieved only one point from a possible 27 – the worst run of results in the club’s short history – Tisdale’s contract with the club was mutually terminated on the 2nd November 2019 following a 1–3 home defeat to Tranmere Rovers.
After a twelve month break, Tisdale returned to football management on 19 November 2020, signing a two-and-a-half year deal with then-League One club Bristol Rovers. On the 10th of February 2021, Tisdale departed the club after just 12 points in 15 league matches that saw Rovers only outside of the relegation zone on goal difference.
On the 1st April 2021, Tisdale joined Colchester United in an advisory role until the end of the season, assisting inexperienced head coach Hayden Mullins as Colchester attempted to stay in the Football League.
2) John McGreal – 8/1
John McGreal is an English football manager and former professional footballer who was recently manager of Swindon Town.
He began his career at Tranmere, making his debut in the 1991–92 season. He became a first-team regular from the 1993–94 season, playing a total of 233 games across eight seasons, until he was sold to Ipswich Town for a £750,000 fee in August 1999. He helped his new club to win promotion into the Premier League with victory in the 2000 play-off final. He played 54 Premier League games in two seasons, before Ipswich were relegated back into the First Division in 2002. He stayed with the club for another two years before signing with Burnley in June 2004. He spent three seasons in the Championship with Burnley, being named as Player of the Year in 2005, and retired at the end of the 2006–07 season. He played a total of 489 league and cup games in 16 seasons as a professional in the English Football League and Premier League, scoring seven goals.
McGreal went into coaching after retiring as a player, joining the Colchester United Academy in 2009. He briefly stood in as the first team’s caretaker-manager in November 2015, before being given the job on a permanent basis following the club’s relegation out of League One in May 2016. He took charge for four seasons, with the club twice finishing one place outside the League Two play-offs and losing in the play-off semi-finals at the end of the 2019–20 season. He was sacked in July 2020.
On the 26th of May 2021, McGreal was appointed manager of recently relegated League Two side Swindon Town, but on the 25th of June, after less than a month in the job, he left Swindon by mutual consent, as ownership issues prevented him signing new players.
1) Gavin Skelton – 6/1
Gavin Skelton is an English football coach, manager, and former professional footballer. He is currently the assistant manager of Carlisle United.
Skelton’s playing career including a 7-year spell at Gretna as well as stints at Carlisle United, Workington (two spells), Kilmarnock, Hamilton Academical, Barrow and Queen of the South.
Skelton began his managerial career at Workington. After a stint as assistant manager at Queen of the South, Skelton was then manager of the club from April to November 2016.
On the 4th of June 2019, Carlisle United announced that they had appointed Skelton as assistant manager. He served as caretaker manager for two games, and signed a contract extension in November 2019.
Fans reacted as the top six favourites to become next Carlisle boss is revealed…
@AdamStoddart007: In all seriousness thanks for your service Chris , your a top top bloke and I’ve spoke to your son likewise and I wish you all the best , had you had a good board and backing and a proper number 2 maybe you might still be in a job. Thanks for everything beech, best of luck
@cufc_tink: Correct decision, had to go, I’d like Tisdale but I’m coming it now we’ll end up with Sol Campbell!! #cufc
@topsandollie: Beech was just a symptom of a bigger problem. The BOD and their lack of direction and ambition
@LEEROTHERHAM: All the coaching staff need to go.
@paddockcufc: Scapegoat: a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others.
@Matthewgaskell9: Great guy but ultimately didn’t work out and this is the best option for the club, all the best for the future Chris
@cufcdanny: Lovely man poor head coach. There’s not just Beech that should be leaving either! Skelton & Holdsworth are part of the problem too. Thanks for the first half of last season Chris! All the best #cufc
@edward_w97: An inevitable change, sadly. The memories of that team flying at the top last season are long gone, #cufc far too close to the bottom for liking this term. Next appointment’s big, though I don’t really think that manager or players are the main thing holding Carlisle back…
@SamTJohnston24: All the best to Chris. Appeared to be a genuinely good guy with a passion for developing players. Dealt a terrible hand in the summer with some excellent players leaving the club. Not a nice way to end it. Holdsworth should be next out the door. #cufc
@adam_cufc7: Ultimately inevitable and a shame to see him go but the right call. Next we need Holdsworth gone and an experienced man in charge but we all know both are unlikely #cufc
@darrenblue90: Now let’s force these clowns to take action on a sale, there the issue the clubs is rotten from the top!! Beech made alot of us dream again but unfortunately his time run out and alot of the blame needs to be with the board!! #boredoftheboard #sellup
@DanielClausen19: Could have waited until after they play us 🙄. Let’s go and get our first away win of the season next week and stop the usual bounce back reaction to a manager sacking.
@CrispoPlays: Top bloke. As many others have said. Its a problem that starts at the top and he can’t take the whole blame, but shouldve done better regardless. All the best for future Chris
@AdamStoddart007: Tell Skelton to fuck off with holdsworth as well , if we still want promotion we need an experienced manager and a passionate number 2 with some experience as well. Like sheridan and wright something along those lines. Simpson as manager and Zigor as assistant now then…..
@Andythehood: No need for the sentimental clap trap. Bottom line is football is a results business. 7 wins in 36 says CB has overseen poor business. That aside the structure of the club & its ambition is rotten. Much more needs got rid. Lets not do the usual recruitment charade. Just appoint!
@CUFCalways: Sad to see but I think the time was right, I hoped you could turn it around I really did. I wish your all the best for the future.
@djtooley247: He actually gave us hope at the very start that we could get out of this league but Covid put an abrupt end to that and we just couldn’t rediscover that form. Ultimately has the right call been made, proof will be in the next manager. I Wish beech all the best on his next chapter
@FtblJosh9: Thanks for your service Beech, first half of last season was one of the best times in a while
@Philbell719Phil: Beech has gone but the bigger problem remains. Always came over as a decent bloke and was never given the right backing.
@fish_blues: It could have been so different. I honestly thought this one was going to work & finally lead us to some success. Unfortunately for Beech he’s been totally thrown under the bus by Holdsworth not in the players we sold so much but in the timing of that & the players we didn’t keep
@parkinsonross: Correct decision. Holdsworth should follow him out of the door too.
An all round top man. Possibly one of the best characters we’ve had for a while. What he did with the club when we weren’t playing cos of the pandemic was class. Shame it ended up this way but in the end the right call was made. Best of luck in the future Chris. 💙 pic.twitter.com/QeMBxNghfF
— Sam Maclennan (@sammymac232) October 10, 2021