Former Celtic star Didier Agathe steps down as manager of club owned by ex-Rangers ace
Former Celtic star Didier Agathe has stepped down as manager of Northern League Division Two club Durham City after failing to record a victory in his opening nine games in charge.
The Parkhead icon, a three-time Scottish title winner and 2003 UEFA Cup finalist, was a surprise choice as Citizens boss when his appointment was confirmed in April ahead of a summer of change at the club.
Tasked with taking charge of a new youth academy and first-team affairs, the first-time boss took a new look City squad boosted by the arrival of a whole host of players from abroad into the new Northern League season.
However, last month’s 2-2 draw against Tow Law Town was the only point that the Frenchman’s side picked up in their opening nine games of the campaign.
Former Newcastle United and Rangers star Olivier Bernard, the current owner and CEO of Durham City, confirmed that a “difficult situation” was behind the decision, rather than the results during the opening six weeks of the season.
He told The Sunderland Echo: “I think it was good to have Didier at the club.
“His attitude has been very refreshing, he had big ideas for the start of his career as a manager, but unfortunately the situation at the club has changed and Didier has had to leave.
“Hopefully, in the future, we will be able to communicate the reasons behind this, but I can say that I am sad to see him go.
“I think he could have done well at the club, but I understand why he is disappointed.
“We are both disappointed because we had a good partnership and having Didier was a big thing for the club.
“We are good friends, and it’s important that we understand the difficult situation that has led to the decision.
“Players have been torn mentally because of this situation, Didier has been included in this too and it’s quite sad.”
Bernard was unable to elaborate on the situation that led to the decision – but revealed his belief that Agathe had shown enough quality to suggest that he can succeed as a manager elsewhere.
“Didier has done enough to show that he can be a good manager and I am sure that is what he will do,” he added.