HERO ISL 2019-20: John Gregory leaves Chennaiyin FC
John Gregory was appointed as the head coach of Chennaiyin FC in 2017 after the club's dismal performance in ISL 2016. He replaced Marco Materazzi at the helm and led the club to a title victory in the fourth edition of the Indian Super League.
Thus, the Englishman extended his contract for the following season and hoped that he would defend the title successfully. But, a string of poor performance from the defending champions saw them struggling at the bottom of the table.
Chennaiyin tasted a little success as they finished as runners up of the 2019 HERO Super Cup. They also had a moderate run in the AFC Cup where couldn't go past the group stage.
Many of them believed that it would be the last season for the John Gregory has the head coach of the Marina Machans. But, he once again extended his stay with the club and made some shocking changes to the squad. He released fan favourites like Raphael Augusto, Mailson Alves and roped experienced Maltese Striker Andre Schembri and Lithuanian forward Nerijus Valskis to boost the team's attack.
But these changes couldn’t revive the team back to glory since they lost 3 out of 4 matches without scoring a goal in the ongoing ISL season. Before the International break, the 65-year-old coach hinted at resignation but continued his job till yesterday where they drew 2-2 against Odisha FC.
The club in a statement on November 30, 2019 (today) announced,
“Chennaiyin FC can announce that they have mutually parted ways with Head Coach John Gregory."
“The club would like to sincerely thank John for his services. He led us admirably well and delivered our second Indian Super League title. He thus also made us the first ISL club to qualify for the AFC Cup and oversaw our debut appearance in Asia while also reaching the 2019 Super Cup final. All of us at the club would like to wish John the very best in his future endeavors.”
“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 club will make further announcements in due course.”
It will be interesting to see who replaces him in the next few days. Chennaiyin will be playing their next match on December 9, 2019, against Jamshedpur in an away game.