Alan Archibald has been fired as Partick Thistle manager after defeat at home to Ross County left the Glasgow club third bottom of the Championship.
Archibald, who was appointed as manager on a permanent basis in March 2013, has struggled to arrest the form which saw Thistle drop out of the Premiership last season.
A 3-2 victory over Queen of the South in Thistle’s previous fixture had given Archibald a stay of execution after a league loss to Inverness Caledonian Thistle and a surprise Irn Bru cup defeat to East Fife, but a limp reverse at home to County proved to be the final straw. The club have managed only nine points from their opening eight Championship games.
A statement on the club website states: “It is with regret that the Board of Partick Thistle Football Club today terminated the contracts of Alan Archibald and Scott Paterson. As a Club with a proud reputation for supporting and backing its managers, this decision was not taken lightly. But it has been taken in the best interests of the football club and our fans.
“We gave Alan our full support following relegation but were clear from the outset that our sole objective was to secure promotion back to the Premiership. However, results have not met our expectations so if we are to still achieve our aim, a change had to happen now.
“The Board wishes to place on record our genuine gratitude and thanks to Alan for his outstanding service to this Club as player, captain, coach and manager. Over his tenure as manager, Thistle experienced many high points – not least promotion to the Premiership, consolidation in that division over several seasons and an unprecedented top six finish in season 2016/17. These achievements are now woven in to the fabric of the Club’s history and can never be diminished. Alan and Scott leave the Club with our very best wishes for their future careers.”
Archibald was appointed following the departure of Jackie McNamara and proved to be both a popular and successful manager for large spells in charge. The former Thistle defender guided his charges to the Championship title and promotion at the end of the 2012/13 season.
In the Premiership, he guided Thistle to safety in his first season and managed to steer clear of the relegation battle in the following two. In 2016/17, Thistle made it into the top six for the first time and Archibald was lauded was his efforts with a relatively under-appreciated squad.
Form dipped badly the following season though and Archibald was unable to prevent his team finishing 11th, where they lost the play-off final to Livingston. While fellow relegated side Ross County have started their Championship campaign strongly, the same cannot be said of Thistle, who sit only ahead of winless Alloa and Falkirk.