RICARDO MONSANTO HAS stepped down as manager of Athlone Town, just a month after the club officially confirmed his appointment.
It is only four months since the SSE Airtricity League First Division club gave the job permanently to Colin Fortune — who became caretaker boss when Alan Mathews left last June.
However, after the cash-strapped outfit received financial backing from an overseas investor, Monsanto and two other Portuguese coaches arrived, causing confusion as to who was actually managing the club.
In a strongly-worded statement last month, the midlanders confirmed that Monsanto was the team’s manager, with Fortune remaining on staff in the new role of head coach.
At that stage, the club were joint-top of the SSE Airtricity League First Division with two wins from two, but have managed just one point from six games since.
This poor run of form has prompted ownership to act.
“The board of Athlone Town AFC can today confirm that Ricardo Monsanto has stepped down as the club’s first team manager,” the club said in a statement today.
“The decision was arrived at following discussions between the club’s board and Roberto (sic), where recent on-field performances and results were discussed.
“Following those talks it was mutually agreed by both parties that Ricardo’s tenure as first team manager come to an end.
“Unfortunately recent results have not been as Ricardo and the club had hoped for.
“Everyone involved with Athlone Town AFC would like to place on the record its thanks to Ricardo for the hard work and dedication he has put into his coaching duties with the first team since the start of the season.
“The club would also like to wish Ricardo every success in the future.
“First team coach Ricardo Cravos will take charge of tonight’s first team game against Wexford FC.
The club has started a process to recruit a new manager.
“It is the club’s intention that an announcement concerning the appointment of a new manager will be made in the coming days.”