Swansea City manager Carlos Carvalhal will leave at the end of the season.
A home loss to Southampton, coupled with Huddersfield’s draw at Chelsea, means Swansea are almost certain to be relegated from the Premier League.
The Swans must beat Stoke while Saints lose to Manchester City with a 10-goal swing in Sunday’s final round of games to secure an unlikely survival.
Carvalhal is out of contract at the end of the season but had been in talks to remain at the Liberty Stadium.
However, it is understood the Swansea board has decided not to renew Carvalhal’s contract after a run of eight games without a win.
The news comes on the day that the Swansea City Supporters Trust called for chairman Huw Jenkins to stand down from his position.
Former Wales striker Iwan Roberts said the decision on Carvalhal’s future was “crucial” to Swansea’s future as they plan for life in the Championship after seven successive campaigns in the Premier League.
“Who’s going to be the manager now is the big question,” Roberts said before the news broke of Carvalhal’s imminent departure.
“There’s some big questions: the owners need to come out and answer some questions as well.
“The club has tried to do things on the cheap, bring players in on the cheap.”
Trust calls for Jenkins to leave
The Trust, which owns a 20% stake in the club and has a director on the club’s board, has reiterated its stance of no confidence in chairman Jenkins and insists he should stand down.
In a statement it has also said the club’s American owners should implement a full review into the “running of the footballing side of the club”, writing that the “Swansea way, for so long a source of considerable pride, has not existed for some time”.
Coleman a possibility?
In terms of replacing Carvalhal, Roberts thinks that Chris Coleman could be a good fit at a club the Swansea-born former Wales manager played for from 1987-1991.
Coleman would be available after parting company with Sunderland following their relegation from the Championship.
“We’re not sure who the manager will be next season, I know Chris Coleman’s name has been linked with the club,” Roberts told Post Cyntaf.
“One thing for certain, should Chris Coleman get the job, he would go into that changing room and shake things up because as someone from Swansea, he won’t be happy with what’s been happening at the club.”
‘Void of ideas’
Roberts played for Huddersfield from 1990 to 1993 during his career and while he is pleased to see his former club defy the odds to stay up in their first season back in the top flight, that is tempered by Swansea’s dire season.
Swansea turned to Carvalhal after sacking Paul Clement in December 2017, with the Welsh club bottom of the Premier League and five points adrift of safety.
The Portuguese initially turned things around and after winning his first game in charge at Watford, Carvalhal guided Swansea to victories over Liverpool, Arsenal, Burnley and West Ham.
But the results dried up and Swansea have been dragged back into the bottom three.
“They had that initial spurt when Carlos Carvalhal came in, they had some very good results – especially at the Liberty – but they’ve not won in their last eight games and lost their last four,” said 49-year-old former Wales striker Roberts.
“He hasn’t looked like a man who can turn things around of late. I saw him at Bournemouth and he looked void of ideas, the same against Southampton in the second half.
“If you look at the worst team in Premier League history it was Derby County in 2007-08 who scored 20 goals, but this Swansea side has only scored seven more goals.”
However, Roberts believes that Carvalhal has not been helped by the calibre of the squad at his disposal.
“They’ve got no creativity, no real goal threat, the recruitment has been poor,” said Roberts.
“You’re going to go back down to the Championship – it’s a big, big shame for the football club after seven years in the Premier League.
“There’s been lazy scouting, bringing back players who have been at the club – the likes of Andre Ayew, Wilfried Bony – bringing them back hasn’t worked, it’s as simple as that.
“Have they got the squad there now to put a promotion push together next season to get them back into the Premier League? I’m not too sure.”