Over the course of a quarter of a century between 1982 and 2006, Charlton Athletic had built up a reputation for placing complete faith in their managers with minimal disruption. Lennie Lawrence had spent nine years with the Addicks before Alan Curbishley and Steve Gritt took over in 1991, and while Gritt only remained at the helm for four years, Curbishley would become the club's most successful and longest-serving manager since Jimmy Seed's 23-year spell between 1933 and 1956.
Curbishley would depart The Valley after taking charge of 729 games - just one fewer than Seed - and when the Charlton board made their next appointment, the expectation was that it would be for the long term. However, after placing Iain Dowie in charge in the summer of 2006, as well as losing a court case regarding his controversial arrival at the club, Charlton would end the short-lived reign of the Northern Irishman on this day nine years ago after just 15 matches.
After his relatively impressive spell at Crystal Palace, Charlton supporters had been optimistic that their new boss, who a court ruled had been illegally approached ahead of his resignation from the club's rivals, helped the Addicks improve on their 13th place in the Premier League during the previous campaign, a feeling that was seemingly supported by the owners who supplied Dowie with the funds to bring in the likes of Scott Carson, Djimi Traore, Amdy Faye, Andy Reid and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, with little money being recouped in outgoings.
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While Charlton had compiled one of their strongest squads for some time, that only increased expectations at the club and it soon became apparent that Dowie would not be afforded the time that Curbishley received. The season began with Charlton conceding three goals in defeats to West Ham United and Manchester United, before a double from Darren Bent gave Dowie his first success against Bolton Wanderers. It was a welcome boost for the former striker, but a disastrous September proved to be the start of his undoing in the dugout.
Charlton lost all four of their Premier League fixtures during the month, and that run was extended to five when they suffered a further setback at Fulham. Three points from eight top-flight matches had left the Charlton hierarchy with a choice to make, but when Dowie responded by taking the club on a five-match unbeaten spell in all competitions, his position appeared safe. Not only had Dowie guided the Addicks into the quarter-finals of the League Cup, they kept three consecutive clean sheets in the league, including a draw at Newcastle United and a 1-0 home victory against Manchester City.
A 3-2 defeat away at Wigan Athletic left Charlton at the bottom of the Premier League table with just eight points from 12 games, but given the club's mini-revival, the general consensus was that Dowie's position was safe. However, two days later, Charlton released an official statement announcing that Dowie had been sacked.
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A day after the announcement, and at the same time as promoting Dowie's assistant Les Reed to head coach, chief executive Peter Varney said: "We had to consider if we believed our current situation would improve and we reluctantly came to the conclusion that it would not. It is vital everyone works as a team in this situation. Iain was a popular character at the club and we're sad and disappointed. He didn't take the news very well but you wouldn't expect him to. But we had to take the personal from the business. We had to stand back and take a tough decision. Now we have got to pull together."
The initial decision to part ways with Dowie was not well received by the fans, and neither was the appointment of Reed, who had no managerial experience to his name. He would last just eight games in his new role, winning one match, while he oversaw Charlton's 1-0 defeat at home to Wycombe Wanderers, a result that saw the Addicks miss out on the chance to reach the last four of the League Cup.
Alan Pardew would replace Reed but the damage had already been done and Charlton would be relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season, missing out on survival by four points. Since their relegation, the club have not come close to regaining their position in English football's top tier, spending three of the last eight seasons in League One, and they currently occupy 22nd position in the Championship table after recently sacking Guy Luzon, their eighth change of manager since the departure of Curbishley just over nine years ago.