President of Portuguese club announces himself as manager after sacking

In a bizarre story from Portugal, the president of fourth-tier side Vitoria Sernache has reportedly sacked the club’s manager – and placed himself in charge.

According to a report from Portuguese outlet A Bola, Antonio Joaquim decided to dispense of the services of manager Manuel Monteiro.

Although the side are admittedly not in the best position in the table – they currently sit eighth out of 10 in Group D in the fourth division – Sernache have not lost in their last seven games. Furthermore, five of those matches have been drawn.

The president then took to local radio to announce himself as the team’s new manager. When asked why, he reportedly stated to Radio Condesteval that he was the man who knew his squad the best.

It is not the only concerning story to come out of the club this season. In September, former Portuguese midfielder Ricardo Nascimento resigned from his position as manager, claiming that he could not tolerate the president’s “racism and xenophobia“. He also went on to criticise the lack of working conditions at the club.

With six games left in the Portuguese season, the club’s fans will hope that the bizarre managerial change has an effect and prevents them from being relegated.

When has a president taken over the club before?

Presidents, or chairpersons, taking over their club isn’t entirely unprecedented. It isn’t exactly typical either.

In 2006, former Republic of Ireland striker Niall Quinn was part of a consortium that took over Sunderland. He was installed as the club’s chairman and the new manager. However, his spell in charge didn’t go well, losing five league games and drawing once. He stepped aside to allow the club to appoint Roy Keane, who guided the Black Cats to promotion from the Championship.

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And in 1998, Crystal Palace chairman Ron Noades took charge for the final two games of the season. However, the club had already been relegated from the Premier League by that point.

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Then there was Michael Knighton, who once tried to buy Manchester United. He later became chairman of Carlisle United. After sacking the manager that had overseen promotion to Division Two (now Championship) in 1998, Knighton placed himself in charge.

He subsequently got the club relegated, only avoiding a second relegation via the infamous last-day winner by goalkeeper Jimmy Glass. It is a goal that fans still talk about today. The manager on that day, incidentally, was former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson.

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