Donegal Celtic last night showed Marty Tabb the exit door and welcomed back Paddy Kelly with open arms.
Tabb and his backroom team of Frank Wilson (assistant manager) and Gerard Crossley (coach) were told that their services were no longer required at the west Belfast club — just over two months after they were invited to guide the team through a testing Premiership campaign.
Board members opted to wield the axe after a shock penalty shoot-out defeat to Kilmore Rec in the County Antrim Shield on Tuesday night at Suffolk Road.
DC now have their third manager in as many months, with Kelly stepping back into the hotseat for tomorrow’s bottom-of-the-table clash at Coleraine.
Pat McAllister succeeded Kelly but he stood down in June and the club put their faith in Tabb.
Donegal Celtic chairman Raymond Bonnar said: “I am sick to the pit of my stomach that we have had to make the decision to relieve Marty Tabb and his management team of their positions.
“In the 40-year history of Donegal Celtic FC, no manager has ever been sacked and there is certainly no pleasure in doing it.
“I had to present the concerns and feelings of the board to Marty, Frank and Gerard and express the urgent need for an improvement in results and performances.
“I didn't sleep last night because of this situation — something I have never found myself in before and hope I never do again.
“I had so badly wanted Marty Tabb and his team to succeed.
“I am gutted for him and the lads. Only time will tell if we have made the right decision.
“Some people will say Marty Tabb wasn't given enough time but the immediate concern is the results and the performances and we feel a change is needed.
“We are just six games into the season and four points ahead of Coleraine.”