South Shields sack boss King despite four wins on the trot '“ and look to make quick appointment

South Shields chairman Geoff Thompson hopes to have a new manager in place in the next few days after taking the '˜agonising' decision to sack Jon King yesterday.

Monday, 5th September 2016, 7:30 am
Sacked South Shields manager Jon King

King was relieved of his duties after five years in charge despite the Mariners having won their last four games to move into third in the Northern League Division One table, level on points with leaders Shildon.

Thompson said: “It was a difficult decision. Jon has done a fantastic job.

“It’s not hollow praise and I really respect everything he has done. But I have had to take a medium to long-term view about how the club is going forward and there was never going to be an easy time to make the decision.

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“Even though we have started the season well, we want to strengthen the management of the club.

“The timing would have been difficult whenever we had done it. I agonised over this decision, I really did.”

Businessman Thompson took over the reins at Shields last year, and has helped transform the club’s fortunes at a rapid rate.

He returned the club to the town after two years playing at Peterlee, and immediately set his sights on propelling them up the football pyramid.

The ultimate goal is to play at National League level, and vast investment on and off the pitch has seen attendances grow to a level where the crowd was 1,409 for Saturday’s 4-2 win over Whitley Bay.

King has been an integral part of the success, helping recruit players such as ex-Sunderland star Julio Arca and guiding Shields to last season’s Division Two title.

However, Thompson feels he needs a fresh approach on the management side if the club is to keep on progressing up the leagues. He said: “The ambition of the club remains and I need to make sure we have the right structure managerially.”

Shields are believed to be looking to appoint someone to work alongside coach Lee Picton, who has been put in temporary charge ahead of tomorrow night’s visit of Washington.

Former Gateshead boss Ian Bogie has been linked with the job, but it is understood that the man Shields want is already connected with a club.