Sol Campbell and Macclesfield parting ways after just eight months is a surprise, but what we should all look out for is where and when the next opportunity will arise for the former England international
Sol Campbell’s first managerial stint has come to an end after just eight months. The former Macclesfield Town boss took over at Moss Rose in November 2018 with the club bottom of League Two, seven points from safety.
Six months later, on the final day of the season, he achieved what seemed like an impossible task and kept the club in the Football League after accumulating 31 points from 26 league games.
Macclesfield were a club in trouble on and off the pitch when Campbell took charge last season. The rookie manager and his players were paid late in February, March and April. Six former Macc players are currently in dispute with the club about unpaid wages and have initiated winding-up proceedings.
Despite the club being in total disarray behind the scenes, Campbell was determined to make the most of the opportunity and he definitely did that. He arguably over-achieved by avoiding relegation in far-from-ideal circumstances. The former England, Arsenal and Tottenham defender demonstrated his ability to motivate players and it was evident they bought into his ideas.
Campbell used his connections in the game, showing he was all-in too, bringing in Andy Cole to work with the strikers on a part-time basis last season. He also hired someone to observe training sessions from the roof for analysis purposes. This job, his first in football management, mattered to the 44-year-old. His growth in confidence in post-match interviews was also evident during his eight-month stint.
This season Campbell made a promising start. The Silkmen have three points from their opening two league games and are in the Carabao Cup second round after seeing off Blackpool of League One on Tuesday – Campbell’s final game in charge.
It’s impossible to predict how Campbell’s first full season at the helm would’ve panned out. However, the club look to be going in the right direction on the pitch, at least, to Campbell’s credit, despite ongoing financial woes behind the scenes.
So, where next for the man who once considered running for London Mayor? Being the first managerial casualty of the 2019/20 season in England definitely puts him in the shop window. Another thing to factor in is the fact that both Campbell and Macclesfield “mutually agreed to part ways” according to the official statement on the club’s website. Campbell was not sacked.
How an individual with Campbell’s ex-player credentials can find themselves managing in League Two is a myth within itself. Again though, to Campbell’s credit, he humbled himself and proved to the many doubters that he has what it takes to be a football manager.
In this current climate where black managers are still trying to break through, it will be interesting to see how long it takes Campbell to get another gig. If recent history is anything to by he could be in for a long wait.
Former Brighton boss Chris Hughton is still out of work after being relieved of his duties at the end of the last season. Chris Powell, most recently in charge at Southend, is another black manager waiting for his next opportunity.
As a manager Campbell doesn’t have the same years of experience under his belt as Hughton or Powell, but he certainly has the drive, focus and ability to manage a football club. His eight-month tenure at Macclesfield proves that.
Let’s just hope he’s back in work sooner rather than later, and in a division or two above the English fourth tier.
Words by EugeneOEA