Alan Curbishley has delivered his verdict on Lee Bowyer’s departure from Charlton Athletic.
The 44-year-old was confirmed as Birmingham City’s new manager earlier this evening.
And the valley legend Curbishley, on a mission for Valley Pass for tonight’s 3-2 win over Bristol Rovers, believes some people have forgotten some of the huge issues Bowyer faced before Thomas Sandgaard took over. in September.
Charlton won promotion to the Championship via the playoffs in 2019 and got off to a scorching start in life at the second tier. But the failed buyout of East Street Investments – which never saw them gain EFL approval and be placed under a transfer embargo in January 2020 – has had a serious impact.
Bowyer also saw Conor Gallagher recalled by Chelsea and sent to Swansea for the second half of the campaign.
Lyle Taylor also refused to play the run-in when the campaign was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Curbishley said: “I started to come back and watch the championship games. I think we were playing at Nottingham Forest and I was sitting with Mick McCarthy because he had come to see Josh Cullen for the Irish side. We played so well in that first half – it was some of the best football I had seen a Charlton team play. I came out of the ground thinking “they have a chance here for the play-offs”. I really thought that.
LEE BOWYER! 🙌
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Lee Bowyer as Head Coach.
– Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) 16 mars 2021
“But the other owners [ESI] took over and there was a bit of a rebound there, and then whatever. The Bow side had – Gallagher in midfield, Taylor up front… they were a really good team that they put together.
“I thought they had a real chance of winning the Premier League, but it fell apart with what was going on. For Bow to be relegated on the last day of the season – when Barnsley wins at Brentford to send you down – that’s a big success.
“Being relegated as a coach, having to come back this summer and get excited when you have a transfer embargo – and the players leave the club – I think people forget what he’s been through those 18 last months, relegation and the first six months of this year.
“I always think about the current situation of the team, and I’m not one to criticize where we are. The past two months the results haven’t been as good, but that’s only because the wait levels have gone like this (indicates an increase).
” You know what? Bow did a good job, he did a good job.
Bowyer resigned Monday morning after nearly three years at the helm.
He now has the challenge of keeping Birmingham in the Championship.
Curbishley said: “I was shocked [when he left]. But when something like this happens, much more happens than we learn from it and know.
“I looked from the outside, thinking it looked friendly. There was no “if you want to go, we want this – there is compensation for that” or “we will involve lawyers”. It looked like Bow could have said, “There’s some interest from another club – and I want to go, or look into that.”
“Maybe Thomas said, ‘Alright, if you don’t want to be here, great if you want to move on.’
“Lee had to come and talk after the game and the results didn’t go very well, but at the start of the season we would have begged for the position we are in – with the owners we had and the embargo. He was deflating a bit, but I don’t think he intended to leave. Maybe that’s because it’s Birmingham and he thinks it’s the right time when he walked in.
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