It was 12:02pm on Sunday when Tatiyana sent through Tom Smithies breaking news regarding Tony Popovic accepting the appointment at Karakbüspor in our group chat. I was just about to jump in to an uber to go and enjoy the festivities prior to the NRL Grand Final and every part of me felt it was typical Sydney media.
So many times, we’ve heard Popovic being linked to Crystal Palace, China, etc. at opportune times that left me thinking it was intentional in its timing (week out prior to big matches for example) to throw off the squad. This time I was wrong.
What unfollowed was enough to drain the battery in my phone from full to dead in the space of an hour and a half. Rumours of unrest in the squad, Popovic falling on his sword, leaving for less money, backroom staff following Popovic – it was rife. Some true and some we will never know.
What we do know is this:
– Popovic is gone to Karabükspor;
– Carrasco & Kalac have left with immediate effect;
– Foxe is named as caretaker; and
– Season start against Perth is 5 days away.
What can we gather from this?
Popovic mentioned it was an opportunity that presented itself at the worst possible timing. He’s not wrong. If the backroom staff are to follow Popovic to northern Turkey then this suggests to me that these negotiations have been in play for a considerable amount of time.
It had been rumoured previously that Popovic turned down offers in the past over the inability for him to choose his own backroom staff. To learn that Karabükspor have allowed him to do this would have been a big point in negotiations.
This ultimately leads to my point; timing. We can’t deny what Popovic has done for the club and in fairness he was right to point that out in his press conference last Sunday. But what can’t be denied is that this news was broken one week exactly before the start of the Hyundai A-League season.
Responsibility needs to lie with the club in allowing this to take place this late in the offseason. An offseason that we have been very positive about. Gentleman’s agreement or not, this has derailed the start to our season.
This club is young but it can’t afford to act it’s age. Let’s hope that with the next appointment the red carpet isn’t afforded with the same luxuries to our next head coach.