Turmoil at Sale Sharks

Steve Diamond

Reports surfaced last night on the BBC and elsewhere that Sale coach Bryan Redpath had been sacked by CEO Steve Diamond.

Within an hour, the club had released a statement to say that Redpath had NOT been dismissed by Sale, but that led to speculation about whether his role had been changed, and he was being sidelined by the club.

The backdrop to all this is the imminent arrival of John Mitchell, a no-nonsense Kiwi coach that has been known to get people’s backs up, but can also forge a steely winning mentality (apparently).

So is Redpath being moved aside for Mitchell to come in? Does Diamond hope that he leaves of his own accord, which presumably removes the need for a severance package? Could this be the end of his coaching career?

There have been so many ups and downs and dawning of new eras at Sale over the last couple of years, but they never seem to get going. Only one man has overseen the whole lot…

There’s a press conference at Sale later today, so we should have an update later. Feel free to post it in the comments if you hear about it first.

Update: Statement from Brian Kennedy, 31st Oct:

We are delighted to announce that Bryan Redpath will be taking on the role of Head Coach of Sale Sharks as from today. His four year contract that commenced this year will stay in force.

Sale Sharks have formed a Rugby Strategy Management board which will meet regularly to devise and review the long term rugby strategy. This board will be chaired by Brian Kennedy, and consist of the following members: Ian Blackhurst, Steve Diamond, John Mitchell and Bryan Redpath. The priority of all the management within Sale Sharks is to get back to winning ways and secure our position in the Premiership. We believe we have the playing and coaching talent and structure to achieve this.

Beyond this we must plan medium and long term to compete at the top of the game and this will be the remit of the strategy board.

9 thoughts on “Turmoil at Sale Sharks

  1. Surely it is obvious by now it is the man at the tops fault, but Deadwood Diamond is hardly going to sack himself!

  2. I bet Gloucester fans are loving this considering the nature of Redpath’s departure.

    As for Mitchell, he’s hardly got a great record as a coach. If anything his greatest contribution to the sport was dropping Cullen and generally being antagonistic as a boss.

    For Sale fans, I hope Diamond doesn’t last forever (topically James Bond pun absolutely intended). He’s been more harm than good and is clearly out of his depth. Pride can be a terrible thing sometimes.

  3. Diamond would appear to have located an equally abrasive personality as coach. Personally, I think Sale would be better off without him and let his appointees get on with the job without him bleating in their ear all the time!

  4. I’m not a Glaws fan, but it is hard not have some sense of shadenfraude over this. Glaws have propered under Davies while Sale have sunk. Sometimes there is natural justice it seems.

  5. Shadenfraude indeed Benjit – sometimes there is natural justice. Neither Diamond nor Redpath behaved well during his recruitment.
    There must be some humiliation in being demoted to backs coach – I wonder if Redpath’s pride will take it.
    It is interesting to remember that Redpath needed support from Ian McGeechan when at Glaws
    I wouldn’t trust Diamond for millisecond.
    It will be interesting to see how Mitchell does – his coaching record is patchy – NZ but then Western Force and the Golden Lions – and he has a record of questionable man management – I can see Cipriani and Cueto throwing their toys out of the pram.

  6. As you can see from my tagline I’m not a Sale man but an outside perspective sometimes helps? Based on my rugby knowledge and what I’ve seen in interview both on TV (matey with Morris) and in print (Indy) it seems the root cause of the problem here is Mr Diamond. And then seeing him in his first as self appointed forwards coach sat next to Redpath, well the body language of both spoke volumes. So it’s interesting to read local fans views of the situation on the day Redpath is(n’t)sacked, they seem to confirm an outsiders view.

    Good luck for the rest of the season, it’s always been a pleasure to visit so I hope you survive, but I suspect it’ll take the ownership to see the light, and quickly, for that to happen

  7. Keep hearing Diamond saying Sale have his DNA all over them, is this his way of saying they are a load of w**k?

    More seriously, although he clearly brings vision and ambition he doesn’t seem to have any skills in recruiting and building the right people. More importantly is the sort of person the “right people” would even want to work for? Doubt it.

  8. Redpath knew what he was getting into. Don’t have any sympathy for him. Anyone know whether he was just offered a bigger contract than the one he had at Glos? I suspect that might be something to do with it if correct.

  9. I think of the Sale problem as similar to the Welsh regional problem. Sale and Newcastle are clubs outside of the normal rugby union areas. Sure, they have their fans and amateur history, but in their current guises they are financially created entities there to artificially spread the Premiership outside it’s normal areas of London, Midlands and the South West. Because of this they both seem to continually be lurching from one new initiative to another – new grounds, new squads, new coaching teams, etc. All sounds very familiar to a Cardiff (Blues) fan. I think the core reasons are similar – a lack of a real grounding in the community they are in. The Blues still struggle to convince Ponty diehards that they are a region and not just a Cardiff club. Sale do not have a core few tens of thousands in the area who look at the club as part of their local area, part of their history, so have little foundation and seem to be continually scrabbling for the next bit of solid ground. I think this mentality then seeps into every part of the club such that you end up with mostly chaos. Of course, signing the reliable rock that is Danny Cipriani will have helped immeasurably…

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