Charlton look for new manager

Andover Advertiser: Chris Powell was sacked as manager of Charlton on Tuesday Chris Powell was sacked as manager of Charlton on Tuesday

Charlton appear to have wasted little time in finding a new manager after sacking Chris Powell on Tuesday morning.

Powell had barely left the club's Sparrows Lane training ground when former Standard Liege coach Jose Riga, 56, a technical director in AC Milan's youth academy, oversaw his first training session.

Only last week Powell, who guided Charlton to the League One title in 2012, revealed he had agreed financial terms on a new contract at The Valley.

But he clashed with new owner Roland Duchatelet over the club's recruitment policy after the Belgian businessman brought in a host of foreign players in January from the other clubs he owns - including Standard - while selling key men such as Dale Stephens and Yann Kermorgant.

Former Addicks left-back Powell, 44, did not name a single one of those new players in his final starting line-up, Sunday's 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Sheffield United which signalled the end of his three-year reign.

Duchatelet, who appointed Riga as Standard coach in 2011, said: "We have been working with Chris Powell and his representatives for a couple of weeks to try to agree a contract extension which would have seen us continue to work together.

"There was good progress, but we could not reach an agreement over the club's football strategy going forward

"The situation put a strain on the working relationship between Chris and the board. Therefore I think it is best for all parties that we part ways at this stage."

Charlton are currently bottom of the Championship, four points adrift of safety, but their cup run and a spate of postponements means they have at least three games in hand on the clubs above them.

Riga could even be in charge for Wednesday night's home game against Huddersfield, but he could face anger from the terraces with fans unhappy at the decision to axe Powell and concerned that Charlton are becoming a feeder club to Standard Liege.

Powell's sacking also provoked criticism from his former players. Midfielder Stephens, who was sold to Brighton in January, said on Twitter: "This game is ruthless, can't say I'm surprised. No place for loyalty unfortunately, he deserved better."

Ex-Addicks goalkeeper John Sullivan wrote: "Absolutely shocking decision to sack Chris Powell. What he has achieved on the budget he's had is nothing short of sensational."

And controversial QPR midfielder and Twitter enthusiast Joey Barton also weighed in, writing: "Feel sorry for Chris Powell. Loyal player for the club, did a great job getting them up and this is how he is treated. Shambles.

"Wish him every success going forward. It will end in tears for Charlton.

"Remember, for every (Mauricio) Pochettino there's a Pepe Mel."

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