ISL 2017: Kerala Blasters confirm Steve Coppell's exit
What's the story?
Kerala Blasters have announced the parting of ways with their head coach from last season, Steve Coppell.
In a Twitter post, the club confirmed the exit of the former Manchester United man.
Coppell led the Blasters into the final of the Indian Super League (ISL) last season but failed to lead them to eventual glory. There has been wild speculation about the 62-year-old leaving over the past few days but that has now been confirmed by the Kochi-based club.
The heart of the matter
It was reported that Coppell and Kerala Blasters had a communication breakdown over the domestic player retentions, the deadline for which was 7th July. Kerala Blasters kept hold of CK Vineeth and Sandesh Jhingan but forced Mehtab Hossain to make a U-turn, prompting a fallout between the club and their ex-manager.
Former Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce has been on the radar of Kerala Blasters and is expected to put pen to paper soon now that Coppell has officially departed.
Pearce has had a mixed managerial career so far, with his spells in the Premier League with Manchester City and Nottingham Forest. The 55-year-old has also been at the helm of Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics and was the caretaker manager of the England national team for a short while.
With Pearce in charge, Kerala Blasters will hope to improve on their last season's run to the final and go one step further and win the title this time out.
The deadline for the ISL clubs to announce the names of their head coaches is 15th July, hence expect big movements in the coming days. Only Kerala Blasters and Tata Steel's new team from Jamshedpur have yet to announce their new head coach names, but the Pearce deal is all but confirmed.
Coppell could find himself plying his trade at another ISL club if reports are to be believed. Tata Steel's new team from Jamshedpur are the favourites to land the former Reading manager.
Coppell's short stay in charge of Kerala Blasters coincided with the Kochi-based club enjoying their best ever ISL campaign, finishing second in the league phase and then qualifying for the final in emphatic fashion. However, the two-time runners-up have chosen to tread a different route for the new-look ISL, and Pearce will come in as an able replacement for Coppell.