Football: Struggling Swansea sack manager Paul Clement

Swansea City under Clement (above) are rooted at the bottom of the Premier League.
Swansea City under Clement (above) are rooted at the bottom of the Premier League.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Swansea City on Wednesday (Dec 20) sacked manager Paul Clement as the Premier League’s bottom club desperately search for way out of their relegation mire.

As the season approaches the halfway point, the Welsh side are already four points adrift of safety following Monday’s 3-1 defeat at Everton, with just three wins in their first 18 Premier League matches.

“We can confirm that the club has tonight parted company with head coach Paul Clement,” the club said on its Twitter account.

“To change the manager, especially at only the halfway point of the season, is the last thing we wanted to do as a club,” said Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins in a statement.

“We had three different managers last season and as a result we all wanted to give Paul as much time as possible to turn things around.

“But we felt we couldn’t leave it any longer and needed to make a change to give us the best chance of an uplift and a turnaround in fortunes with the club bottom of the Premier League.”

Jenkins praised Clement’s role in helping keep the club in the English top flight last season.

He took over at Swansea with the club bottom of the Premier League and tipped as odds-on favourites for relegation.

But he masterminded four wins from his first six games, including an impressive victory at Liverpool, to earn himself the Premier League manager of the month award for January.

He arrived with a wealth of experience after working with some of the biggest teams in Europe as assistant manager to Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

Clement is the sixth Premier League manager to lose his job so far this season, following the dismissals of Frank de Boer (Crystal Palace), Craig Shakespeare (Leicester City), Ronald Koeman (Everton), Slaven Bilic (West Ham) and Tony Pulis (West Brom).

Swansea’s owners will be banking on fresh impetus from a new boss to lift the team up the table, with the likes of Leicester and Everton boosted by new appointments in recent weeks.

Assistant managers Nigel Gibbs and Karl Halabi have also left the club.

Swansea said they would give supporters a further update regarding their replacements within the next 24 hours.