By James Reid
Former Celtic defender Didier Agathe has left his role as manager of Durham City AFC, it was announced on Thursday.
The three-time Scottish Premier League winner had been in the role since April and had spearheaded a new look to the club, which is owned by former Newcastle defender Olivier Bernard.
A new academy was launched over the summer, alongside a revamp of the first-team playing squad.
The appointment of Agathe, who played in the 2003 UEFA Cup final, had generated a great deal of attention around Durham. There was plenty of optimism going into this season, with the Citizens bringing in a host of new names, including many from abroad.
Results, however, were hard to come by with Durham picking up just one point from their first nine games. This has left the club bottom of the Northern League Division Two, though Bernard has stated that this was not why Agathe has left the club.
It leaves Durham, who currently play their home matches in nearby Willington, searching for a new manager in a bid to turn around the season.
The club narrowly avoided relegation last season thanks its premature end and hopes were high this time out. Durham have endured a tough time over the past few years, including moving out of their former home at New Ferens Park.
The appointment of Agathe was seen as the start of a new era, but alas it was not to be. The rest of the project remains, however, and it remains to be seen how Bernard’s vision for the club will progress in the long-term.
It looks now, though, that the next appointment will again be tasked with avoiding relegation to the Wearside League.
Image: Tony Lloyd via Creative Commons