Southend have scrapped plans to appoint Henrik Larsson as their new manager, the Sky Bet League One club have announced.
The Shrimpers were set to confirm Larsson as Kevin Bond’s replacement after agreeing terms with the former Celtic, Manchester United and Sweden striker, his assistant Johan Mjallby and head of recruitment Tommy Johnson.
But Southend chairman Ron Martin has revealed former Derby, Aston Villa and Celtic forward Johnson has scuppered the deal by accepting a job elsewhere.
Martin said in a statement on Tuesday: “Terms were agreed with all parties and arrangements were confirmed for Henrik, Johan and their agent to fly over this evening with a view to attending at Roots Hall, along with Tommy Johnson, to sign the contracts tomorrow.
“Within the last hour Tommy Johnson advised Henrik, and subsequently me, that he had decided not to join Henrik and Johan having today accepted an alternative offer.
“Henrik, Johan and Tommy – for both my part and Henrik’s too – came as a team.
Club Statement— Southend United (@SUFCRootsHall) October 15, 2019
“It was critical to the club that we had an individual, as part of that threesome, who was not only well known to Henrik and Johan, but completely familiar with the English leagues, including all the players from not just League One but the Championship and League Two also.
As a consequence of Tommy Johnson withdrawing, all discussions with Henrik Larsson and Johan Mjallby have, unfortunately, come to an end too.
“I have said previously that a week is a long time in politics and, thanks to Tommy Johnson, 24 hours has proved a very long time in football.”
Martin, who met with Larsson for initial talks in Sweden last month, said he will now reopen negotiations with other candidates who were on his shortlist.
Bond took over from the sacked Chris Powell in April and kept Southend up, but failed to win a league game this season and walked away at the beginning of September.
Caretaker boss Gary Waddock led the Blues to their first league win of the season at MK Dons last month, but they have lost their last four games in all competitions.