Key Events

Signing off

We’re closing our live coverage of Steve Burr’s departure as Chester manager for the evening now. Thanks for reading and contributing on a night where the board decided a chance was needed to give the club the best possible chance of survival. There will be lots more reaction and opinion tomorrow and of course a look ahead to what is the first of four huge games for caretakers Jon McCarthy and Ian Sharps this weekend.

Keep the faith. COYB.

Poll results

Interesting results in The Chronicle’s Twitter poll asking fans whether or not it was the right decision to terminate Steve Burr’s contract.

In less than an hour there have been almost 200 votes with 50% backing the decision and 50% against. Split.

Twitter vote

What next for Steve Burr?

A fortnight ago Steve Burr made it clear he had no intention of stepping down as Chester boss despite his position being called into question. He insisted he was up for the battle and would keep fighting. The fact the board’s statement makes no reference to mutual consent makes it clear that this is not his decision.

I suspect he won’t be out of work for long. As recently as November he was the subject of an approach from Eastleigh and I think his stock remains high, albeit not as high as a few months ago.

Back to Kidderminster Harriers? There’s a lot of fans at Aggborough who would love to see it.

Burr's high points

While this season has been a write-off, it would be unfair to forget the high points of Steve Burr’s time as Chester manager. Part of the problem for fans during the current campaign has been the absence of the attacking football associated with Burr. Blues fans had a taste of that with fantastic performances against Stockport County, Southend United and Barnsley in the FA Cup last season, a couple of wins to cherish against Wrexham and some fantastic performances dotted through his tenure.

September 2014: Steve Burr gives the thumbs up as he is interviewed by Michael Owen and Robbie Savage for BT Sport following the Wrexham game
Steve Burr gives the thumbs up as he is interviewed by Michael Owen and Robbie Savage for BT Sport following win over Wrexham in 2014 (Image: Ian Cooper)
Action from Barnsley v Chester in the FA Cup. The squad pose in front of the fans.
Steve Burr and his team pose in front of the Chester fans at Barnsley (Image: Terry Marland)


The right decision?

It’s a big call from the board to act now and one that seems to be splitting opinion. The timing of Steve Burr’s departure and the in-house replacements of Jon McCarthy and Ian Sharps are causing most debate.

This morning I wrote an opinion piece on the predicament facing the board and asking whether or not sacking the manager was for the best of the club. I suggested not, partly because of the timing and partly because of the need to settle up Burr’s contract, and that remains my view.

That being said, I do understand the board’s fear of relegation and belief that making a change could give the squad a much-needed lift and help them secure the points needed for safety.

The right decision?

It’s a big call from the board to act now and one that seems to be splitting opinion. The timing of Steve Burr’s departure and the in-house replacements of Jon McCarthy and Ian Sharps are causing most debate.

This morning I wrote an opinion piece on the predicament facing the board and asking whether or not sacking the manager was for the best of the club. I suggested not, partly because of the timing and partly because of the need to settle up Burr’s contract, and that remains my view.

That being said, I do understand the board’s fear of relegation and belief that making a change could give the squad a much-needed lift and help them secure the points needed for safety.

The remaining fixtures

Jon McCarthy and Ian Sharps have been tasked with ensuring the Blues do not get relegated this season. There are four games to go and three points will probably be enough for survival, although five points would take the club on to the magic 50 points mark. Here’s the games McCarthy and Sharps will oversee:

April 9: Lincoln City (A)

April 16: Welling United (H)

April 23: Grimsby Town (A)

April 30: Gateshead (H)

More fan reaction

Results speak for themselves

When you look at the run the Blues have been on in the league since October, it’s clear to see the reasoning behind the board’s decision. Since beating Kidderminster Harriers 3-1 on November 10, Chester have won three, drawn eight and lost 11 from 22 league games.

Form: LDDLLLWDLDWLDLDLWLLDLD

What now?

With Steve Burr gone, the board have asked Jon McCarthy and club captain Ian Sharps to oversee things for the final four games of the season.

While a growing number of supporters were calling for Burr’s head, almost all wanted to see a new man coming in with the likes of Shaun Reid, Dino Maamria and Ronnie Moore heading the list.

The board clearly believe McCarthy and Sharps’ knowledge of the squad makes them the best choice.

Chester first team coach Jon McCarthy
First-team coach Jon McCarthy will guide Chester until the end of the season along with Ian Sharps (Image: Ben Taylor Photography)

Fan reaction

Steve Burr sacked

To confirm what’s happened, the Blues issued a statement at 8pm tonight confirming Steve Burr had been sacked. Here’s what was said:

Following a meeting earlier this afternoon, the board of directors at Chester Football Club have decided to terminate the contract of first-team manager Steve Burr with immediate effect.

We are sure that all our supporters and followers will appreciate that as a fan-owned club this has not been an easy decision for us to make.

However, given the recent extended run of poor form and results we believe this to be in the club’s best interests given our current situation.

The board have asked first-team coach Jon McCarthy to take the remaining four games alongside club captain Ian Sharps given their knowledge of playing staff.

Naturally, as a club we thank Steve for his contribution over the last two years and wish him well for the future.

We will announce arrangements for the appointment of Steve’s replacement in due course.

Welcome

Earlier this evening Chester FC announced manager Steve Burr has been sacked with immediate effect.

The timing of the decision will be a cause of debate with four games left but there’s no doubt results have been extremely disappointing with the club battling against relegation.

We will be running this live blog for the next couple of hours to gauge reaction, look at the decision in more detail and reflect on Burr’s time in charge.

We want you to get involved too so please let us know your thoughts on Twitter @ChesterFC_Chron.