Crawley 'crypto bros' owners SACK boss Etherington after 34 days

Crawley Town’s ‘crypto bros’ owners SACK manager Matthew Etherington after just 34 days – and three games – in charge… having ‘accidentally’ put their whole squad on the transfer list and selling their star striker

  • Crawley Town’s US owners have axed boss Matthew Etherington after 34 days 
  • The ex-West Ham midfielder had just three games in charge of the Red Devils
  • Crawley’s ‘crypto bros’ had accidentally put their whole squad on the transfer list
  • On Wednesday the struggling League Two club also sold star striker Tom Nichols
  • Striker Kwesi Appiah, on loan at Colchester, publicly questioned that decision

Crawley Town’s US owners have bizarrely fired manager Matthew Etherington after just 34 days and three matches in charge of the club. 

News of the sacking on Thursday comes a day after Crawley sold star striker Tom Nichols to League Two rivals Gillingham, and shortly after the entire squad was ‘accidentally’ placed on the transfer list amid widespread confusion.

The move further calls into question the leadership of WAGMI United, the ambitious cryptocurrency investment group which took charge of the club in April.

Crawley Town’s US owners have sacked Matthew Etherington after just 34 days in change

The news comes one day after the League Two side revealed star striker Tom Nichols (above) would be sold to Gillingham and shortly after the entire squad was ‘accidentally’ transfer listed

It further calls into question the leadership of WAGMI United, the ambitious cryptocurrency investment group which took charge of the club in April, led by founder Preston Johnson

An official statement announced the sacking of former West Ham midfielder Etherington and his assistant Simon Davies with immediate effect, while confirming the club would look to appoint a new permanent boss as soon as possible.

Director of Football and interim CEO Chris Galley said: ‘It has become clear to all involved parties that this partnership is not the right fit to carry the club forward and achieve our goals. 

‘As a result, we have mutually decided to move in a different direction. We wish Matty and Simon well in their future endeavours.’ 

Led by Preston Johnson and Eben Smith, WAGMI United – named after popular crypto slogan ‘we’re all gonna make it’ – boasted they would ‘shake up the status quo’ and show a modern approach, while their website labels Crawley ‘the Internet’s team’ and claims: ‘together, we’re gonna take Crawley Town to the Premier League.’

Etherington won his first game in charge, a 2-0 victory over Swindon, but lost his next two, 2-0 against Hartlepool and 2-1 against Sutton United, both at home. They are currently 20th in the league table, six points off the relegation spots.

Former West Ham midfielder Etherington was only given three games in charge of the club

And Red Devils supporters quickly took to Twitter to question the American owners’ actions

When Crawley announced Etherington as boss, they highlighted his historic gambling addiction as evidence he shared the owners’ ‘appetite for risk’ and that was said to be a key reason behind his hiring. 

Former Arsenal youth coach Kevin Betsy was appointed as manager in June, taking over after John Yems left the club amid a race shame storm, with Yems charged by the FA with racial discrimination, but Betsy was sacked in October after four months in charge with the side bottom of the fourth tier.

The owners caused more consternation when news broke on Wednesday they had sold Nichols, who had scored four goals and recorded seven assists this season, including netting in their 2-0 EFL Cup win against Premier League Fulham in August.

Nichols himself admitted: ‘I got told after training they had accepted an offer for me from another club and I couldn’t play any more. They didn’t want to risk injury and stuff like that. It was a strange one because I wanted to stay fit and keep training and then just waited to get it sorted which has taken up until now.

‘At the time I was not asking to leave at all. I was just playing as normal, we had a new manager in charge (Etherington) and was looking forward to that, I never asked to leave. When the club tells you are not going to play anymore and they have accepted an offer for you, I felt I had no other choice. My decision was made for me.

Forward Nichols (centre) admitted he did not want to leave but was forced out by the club

And current striker Kwesi Appiah publicly questioned the decision to let Nichols leave Crawley

‘These things happen. I would have carried on playing until now, I’d always want to play and help the team out but I do understand why they told me I couldn’t [play]. I wasn’t actively looking to leave. It’s quite sad how it finished. I never got to play that one last game.’

And current striker Kwesi Appiah, who was farmed out on loan to League Two rivals Gillingham despite scoring 11 league goals last season, publicly questioned the decision to sell Nichols.

Underneath the announcement Nichols was leaving, Appiah said on Twitter: ‘Wait, what?!? Surely been Hacked!’ along with an embarrassed and face-covered emoji. 

Amid rumours about every player being made available for transfer, Galley reportedly insisted he ‘would never transfer list a whole squad’ and blamed the club ‘trialling some new software surrounding transfers’.

In October, Sportsmail‘s Martin Samuel said football clubs sell their soul when they go chasing clicks like Crawley have done by confirming three YouTubers – including Sidemen member ‘TBJZL’ – will train with their first team.




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