Turmoil in the dressing room has turned into the A-League's first managerial casualty of the 2013/14 as Perth Glory sacked Alistair Edwards on Tuesday. The incident after the Glory's 2-0 loss to Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park led to several days worth of internal review and investigation about the relationship between the manager and his players. The 'differences of opinion' voiced most notably by captain Jacob Burns were ultimately such that the club's board made the decision to remove Edwards from his coaching responsibilities before the team's next game. Perth will appoint an interim manager before Sunday's home game against Adelaide United.
Glory chairman Tony Sage explained the move in a club press release:
"Our review of what occurred on Friday and subsequently in the media was not conducted to apportion blame or seek recriminations, but rather to identify the cause of the issues and to identify and to seek to implement a range of measures to improve performance and player management/best practices.
"In my view, the measures were capable of being successfully implemented, which would ultimately improve the club. Alistair was unwilling to implement each of the measures required of him by Perth Glory, and as such he Is no longer employed at Perth Glory.
"I am disappointed in this outcome, as we tried at all times to find a workable compromise, but ultimately the best interests of the players, staff, fans, sponsors and business partners of Perth Glory Football Club are my primary concern, and always will be."
The incident in question involved the benching of Burns after he returned from a two-game suspension. Edwards' son Ryan was chosen in his place while his other son, Cameron, came off the bench instead of Burns. The perceived nepotism finally came to a head with the confrontation in the dressing room on Friday night with Burns and veteran defender Michael Thwaite, who was wearing the captain's armband at AAMI Park, leading the revolt. There are other reports suggesting Marquee Player William Gallas has not spoken with the elder Edwards in three weeks.
Ultimately, the Glory board chose its players over its manager, sacking Edwards after just ten games of a new, three-year contract signed in the offseason. Edwards replaced Ian Ferguson in February. With Burns claiming, 'the only way I will get a game in this team is if I change my name to Edwards,' the writing was on the wall for the 45-year-old manager. The Herald Sun is reporting Kenny Lowe, the former Perth assistant and youth coach Kenny Lowe is the front runner to replace Edwards, but that other candidates are also being considered before the weekend's fixture.