Blues talks breakdown with former Celtic trio

SOUTHEND UNITED has announced that a deal to bring former Celtic trio, Henrik Larsson, Johan Mjallby and Tommy Johnson to Roots Hall Stadium in a managerial capacity has broken down after Johnson chose to take up a position elsewhere.

It was expected that the struggling Sky Bet League One outfit would make an announcement later in the weeks following extensive talks as they looked to bring some stability following the resignation of Kevin Bond six weeks ago. However, the troubled club received news earlier today and will now be reassessing the situation.

In a statement published on the Blues official website, Chairman, Ron Martin, explained: “Over the past week the Club has been in detailed discussions with Henrik Larsson, Johan Mjallby and Tommy Johnson to be appointed Manager, Assistant Manager and Head of Recruitment, respectively.

“Terms were agreed with all parties and arrangements were confirmed for Henrik, Johan and their agent to fly over this evening with a view to attending at Roots Hall, along with Tommy Johnson, to sign the contracts tomorrow.

“Within the last hour, Tommy Johnson advised Henrik, and subsequently me, that he had decided not to join Henrik & Johan having today accepted “an alternative offer.

Henrik, Johan and Tommy for both my part and Henrik’s too, came as a team.

“It was critical to the Club that we had an individual, as part of that threesome, who was not only well known to Henrik and Johan but completely familiar with the English Leagues. Including all the players from not just League One but The Championship and League Two also.
“As a consequence of Tommy Johnson withdrawing, all discussions with Henrik Larsson and Johan Mjallby have, unfortunately, come to an end too.

“I have said previous that a week is a long time in Politics and, thanks to Tommy Johnson, 24 hours has proved a very long time in football.

“The Club had identified other individuals in the run-up to agreeing terms with Henrik Larsson & his proposed colleagues. Those parties remain on our radar and we will resurrect those discussions with every intention of appointing a permanent manager as soon as practically possible.”

Gary Waddock has taken charge at Southend on a caretaker basis since Bond’s departure. That looks likely to continue as the Blues prepare for their League One encounter with Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on Friday evening.

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]