Middlesbrough Manager Gordon Strachan Leaves the Club `by Mutual Consent'

Middlesbrough said manager Gordon Strachan left the club “by mutual consent” today after the team slipped to 20th place in English soccer’s second division.

Strachan, 53, took over the post in October last year, replacing Gareth Southgate, who’d been unable to prevent relegation from the Premier League earlier in 2009.

At the start of this season, Boro was the bookmakers’ favorite to win promotion back to the top division but has won only three of 11 games in the Championship. It has 11 points out of a possible 33 and lost three of the last four games, including a 2-1 home defeat to Leeds at the weekend.

“Gordon is a man of great integrity,” Chairman Steve Gibson told the club website. “He has torn up his contract and walked away without compensation because he felt it was in the best interests of this football club. There are very few managers who have ever done that but that is the mark of the man.”

Strachan had taken full responsibility for disappointing results and agreed that “the change had to be made,” Gibson said.

The Scot had won six trophies in four years at Celtic and joined Middlesbrough on a four-year contract. The club was in fourth spot in the 24-team Championship when he joined, two points off the automatic promotion places, and finished 11th.

The former Aberdeen, Manchester United, Leeds and Scotland midfielder started his managerial career at Coventry before leading Southampton to the F.A. Cup final against Arsenal in 2003. He won three consecutive Scottish league titles with Celtic in 2006 through 2008 before stepping down in May 2009.

Assistant manager Steve Agnew will take temporary charge of the Middlesbrough team, which plays at Nottingham Forest tomorrow.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter-Joseph Hegarty in London at phegarty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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