Chennaiyin part ways with John Gregory
Chennaiyin FC, on Saturday, announced that the club has parted ways with head coach John Gregory by mutual consent. The Tamil Nadu-based club is yet to announce a successor for the Englishman.
The Chennaiyin FC co-owners in a joint statement said, “The club would like to sincerely thank John for his services. He led us admirably well and delivered our second Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) title. He thus also made us the first Hero ISL club to qualify for the AFC Cup and oversaw our debut appearance in Asia while also reaching the 2019 Hero Super Cup final. All of us at the club would like to wish John the very best in his future endeavours.”
“This decision has been taken after a detailed discussion with John, and all parties involved believe this will be the right step for everyone associated with the club,” the statement further added.
Gregory arrived at Chennaiyin at the start of the Hero ISL 2017-18 season and tasted immediate success, guiding the club to their second Hero ISL title. The following season, though, was far more disappointing for the Englishman as Chennaiyin ended up finishing at the bottom of the league. However, Gregory bounced back with a stellar Hero Super Cup 2019 campaign which saw Chennaiyin reach the final.
Under the 65-year-old, Chennaiyin have made an underwhelming start to their Hero ISL 2019-20 campaign and are currently eighth in the table with just five points from six matches.
After picking up just one point from their opening four outings this season, Gregory, following a disappointing 3-0 loss against Bengaluru FC, had indicated that he was mulling over his future with Chennaiyin. "I think it’s about time I sat down with the owner and had a conversation. She’s (Vita Dani) been very supportive since September 2017, but it’s probably time I sat down with her and had a deeper conversation than normal. We can’t continue like this. We consider ourselves to be a very, very good club. We’re all hurting, the whole club’s hurting at the moment. And none more so than myself. I’ve carried this club on my shoulders and it’s not easy. I’ve never worked so hard in my life than I have done in the last two and a half years. It’s a heavy load and it might be time for somebody else to take over," a dejected Gregory had said after the Bengaluru loss.
The team did respond with a 2-1 win over Hyderabad FC and followed it up with a 2-2 draw against Odisha FC, but the latter would eventually turn out to be the Englishman's final match in charge of the Marina Machans.
The announcement also prompted players and fans to bid farewell to their former gaffer on social media.
Thank you Gaffer for your guidance for more than two years now. You took us to the title and also led as at the Asian level and I will always remember you for your support during your time in India ! Wish you the best for the future.🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/Iru04PI3iU— jeje lalpekhlua (@jejefanai) November 30, 2019