Nigel Pearson gets the axe at Leicester after ‘differences in perspective’

Nigel Pearson was sensationally sacked by Leicester City last night despite keeping the club in the Barclays Premier League last season.

Assistant managers Craig Shakespeare and Steve Walsh will take temporary charge of the club until a successor is appointed.

Sam Allardyce, Neil Lennon and Guus Hiddink were the early names being touted to succeed Pearson.

Pearson took charge at the King Power Stadium for the second time in November 2011 and presided over promotion in the 2013/14 season to the top-flight, where they finished a respectable 14th in their maiden campaign after a brilliant run of results in the final weeks.

However, the club announced Pearson had been relieved of his duties, saying “fundamental differences in perspective exist between us”.

The most recent season was not without incident for Pearson, who found himself at the centre of several controversies.

The 51-year-old was fined £10,000 (€14,000) and handed a one-match touchline ban after arguing with a fan during the club’s loss to Liverpool in December.

Two months later, he put his hands around Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur’s neck while the player was on the ground but Pearson later accused Match of the Day pundits of “making a mountain out a molehill”.

In March, he bizarrely called a reporter an “ostrich” after being irked by the line of questioning before issuing an apology the following day.

Pearson’s son James was one of three players sacked for their part in a sexually-explicit video in which racist language was used during the club’s post-season tour of Thailand.

For most of the season, it seemed Leicester were destined for a return to the Championship as they were bottom of the Premier League standings at Christmas, while they were still rooted to the foot of the table with nine games remaining.

From there, though, they won seven times to catapult themselves up the table and safety was already attained by the time they thrashed QPR 5-1 on the final day of the season.

It was not enough to spare Pearson, though.

The club said in a statement: “The board of directors recognises the success Nigel has helped to bring to Leicester City during his two spells in charge of the club, particularly during the last three and a half years.

“However, it has become clear to the club that fundamental differences in perspective exist between us.

“Regrettably, the club believes that the working relationship between Nigel and the board is no longer viable.

“We trust that the club’s supporters will recognise that the owners have always acted with the best interests of the club at heart and with the club’s long-term future as their greatest priority.”

The decision was greeted with dismay by former Leicester striker Gary Lineker, who referenced rumours of his sacking in February which proved untrue.


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