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Soccer

Thorn, Sheridan Are First Football League Firings

Last season in England saw 36 Football League managers fired by their clubs. Just three matches into the league season, two managers this week have started this season’s list.

Andy Thorn became the first manager to be without a job Sunday when Coventry City fired him after his side drew its opening three matches. He was followed on Tuesday by John Sheridan at Chesterfield.

Thorn was promoted from interim status in April 2011. Club officials had hoped he would stabilize the club on the field this season, but Coventry lost leads in all three draws. City led Bury, 2-0, at halftime Saturday before drawing 2-2.

Off-the-field problems, including debts of about $1 million to the owners of its stadium, are believed to have been among the reasons City was relegated to League One last season. This season is the first in at the third division for City since 1964; it was relegated from the Premier League to the Championship in 2000.

Club executive Tim Fisher, in a statement, noted the three blown leads played a major part in Thorn’s dismissal.

“Success only comes from consistent high-level performances coupled with a winning mentality,” said Fisher. “We can’t escape the fact that the results have not been acceptable.”

Sheridan, who was beginning his fourth season at Chesterfield, was placed on “gardening leave” by the club, which was relegated to League Two last season. The term means Sheridan has been asked not to have contact with the club but will remain on its payroll.

In a statement on Chesterfield’s website, chief executive Chris Turner said he realized relegation hurt the club in that financially it could not retain many of last season’s players. Turner said Chesterfield’s performance, however, mandated a change.

“We have to be conscious of the fact that we were relegated last season, the squad was assembled the summer and out of the four games we’ve played we’ve yet to win one,” said Turner. Chesterfield lost its three league matches as well as an opening-round League Cup match to Tranmere Rovers.

J.J. Zucal can be reached at jjzucal@gmail.com and followed on news and sports on Twitter at @BriereBear