Charlton axe Chris Powell, Jose Riga is replacement
Basement Championship team Charlton Athletic have dismissed manager Chris Powell after over three years in charge at The Valley.
Club owner Roland Duchatelet, who also controls Belgian top-flight team Standard Liege, is set to appoint compatriot and AC Milan academy technical director Jose Riga.
Despite being four points from safety at the foot of the Championship table, the Addicks are joint third-favourites with south London rivals Millwall to be relegated with Coral at 6/5, as they have three or four games in hand on their rivals.
Riga will be assisted by Karel Fraeye and should take charge for Charlton’s home match with Huddersfield on March 12th. The Addicks are 13/8 favourites for victory ahead of the Terriers at 17/10. A draw is 12/5.
Powell took Charlton from seventh in League One, when he took over in January 2011, and steered them to the third-tier title the following season. Last term, the Addicks finished ninth in the Championship, four points off a play-off place.
Winning over 40 per cent of his 161 games in charge of the south London side was not enough to save Powell from the sack. His final match was the FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Sheffield United, who are a division lower than Charlton.
Championship results deepened the Addicks’ plight as they participated in cup action. Relegation rivals Yeovil (odds-on 1/2 favourites to go down), Millwall (also 6/5), Doncaster (13/8) and Barnsley (8/15) all won.
Following Powell’s dismissal, Norwich City boss Chris Hughton is the only black manager in all four flights of English league football.
Through their links with Liege, it is likely that Charlton players may join the Belgian club in similar to vein how Watford’s owners, the Pozzo family, move their staff around other assets Udinese and Spanish side Granada.
New boss Riga and assistant Fraeye are close to Duchatelet, but face four of the current Championship top-six in Burnley, Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Reading in their first eight games at the helm. Back the Addicks for the drop at 6/5.