Charlton Athletic FC have confirmed that their long-serving manager Alan Curbishley has decided to resign from his post at the end of the season.
Curbishley has been in charge at The Valley since 1991 and twice guided the south London side to promotion into the Premiership, before establishing them as a regular top-flight side. The 48-year-old was recently short-listed for the position of England national coach, which will be vacated by Sven-Göran Eriksson after the FIFA World Cup finals, but Curbishley hinted recently that he was considering leaving the club regardless of the outcome of his application for the England job and club chairman Richard Murray today announced that his decision to leave had been decided on Friday.
"Next season we will start our seventh successive season in the Premiership - the best league in the world," Murray told the club's website. "Alan has masterminded all this success and deserves our total admiration. Yesterday I sat down with him to discuss our plans for the future and Alan was as honest as he has always been throughout his time at Charlton and told me he would not be extending his current contract. We enjoy a fantastic relationship and Alan only wants to do his best for Charlton for whom he has a deep affection. We both agreed that it would, therefore, be in the interests of the club and Alan if we parted company at the end of the current season. Alan is, in my opinion, the greatest football manager this club has ever had."
Curbishley first suggested that he was thinking about leaving the club three weeks ago. "I have to ask myself why I'm doing it,” he said at the time. “If I'm still here this summer, I think we'll be at a bit of a crossroads." Curbishley made no secret of his interest in taking charge of the national team and, although it appears that he has been overlooked for that position, his decision to call time on his career at Charlton suggests he is looking to take on a new challenge - perhaps at a bigger club that will further his international credentials. He was given a rapturous standing ovation by supporters before his last home game in charge - the 2-0 defeat by Blackburn Rovers FC on Saturday.
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