No sooner had I posted that Stephen Henderson’s time as Waterford United manager had run its course than the axe fell. It had to happen. Losing seven consecutive times to as modest an outfit as Monaghan United demonstrated that lessons weren’t being learned. But once it happened I had a curious epiphany – feeling sympathy for a sportsperson who had been made unemployed. GAA managers who lose their post don’t have to worry about a loss of income (ahem) and Liverpool managers who lose their jobs usually have no problem picking up a new job and have a fat severance payment to fall back on too. While receiving texts from a well-informed neighbour on how it all went down, it was odd to imagine Stephen Henderson being out there in the real world, wondering what he was going to do next. The market for ex-League of Ireland managers wouldn’t be a buoyant one at the best of times, and these aren’t the best of times. Then the feeling was compounded by this (h/t to Kirkham_Matt via Stephen Long on Twitter):
We’ve long known that being classy and being successful are not linked (see: Jose Mourinho, Alex Ferguson) and this only reinforces that. It should be noted that none of this invalidates the decision to sack him, nor should those who criticised him feel any guilt. But you’d want to have a heart of stone not to be moved by such a dignified reaction to events. Good luck to Stephen Henderson in all his future endeavours.