Eric Black

Eric BlackFormer Aberdeen and Metz striker, Eric Black was a surprise appointment as manager of the club when he took over the reigns from Billy Davies, a number of experienced managers applied for the vacant role but the club’s board opted to go for a novice again.

The side were on dire straits as they were languishing down the wrong side of the table but it was hoped the new management team could reignite the spark and spur the side onto better things.

Before accepting the manager’s post at the club, Black had been a football agent and a few years previously he was assistant manager at Celtic under John Barnes, who both were famously fired after losing to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup. The obvious appeal to chief executive Pat Nevin was that Eric had a massive array of contacts over the world (particularly France) in which he could seek players to help bolster the squad. The likes of Frenchmen Eric Deloumaux, Yann Soloy, David Ferrere, Frank Bernhard, Francois Dubourdeau and former Fulham and Hibernian striker Dirk Lehmann were recruited over the course of the season as the new gaffer sought out to build his own side.

He would make his managerial debut at Tannadice as the side could only muster up a 1-1 draw, he would get his first win only a week later as the side would triumph over Dunfermline Athletic. Perhaps the highlight of his reign in charge was the emergence of youngster James McFadden, Faddy of course made his debut under Billy Davies but it was under Eric he flourished scoring 8 goals in 11 games at one point during the 2001/02 campaign.

Despite the management making many changes during the course of the season the side were highly inconsistent languishing dangerously near the bottom of the table. In the Scottish Cup after being knocked out by Dunfermline a newspaper reported that Black had a bust up with veteran striker David Kelly. The reports proved to be true as two days later the player was sacked. Other players were critical of Eric’s approach as he froze out the likes of Andy Dow and Kevin Twaddle as he hoped to force high earners off the wage bill, with the players reluctant to move on, they were made to train with the youth side.

In April 2002 the club was placed into Interim Administration and Eric Black resigned with immediate effect. He stated that as with no money now available he wouldn’t be able to fulfil his promises to players and he had no choice but to end his tenure as manager of Motherwell Football Club. His assistant Terry Butcher was instantly installed as the new manager of the club.

Eric would later join former ‘Well player Gary McAllister at Coventry City as his assistant before getting the job himself after McAllister resigned. He wouldn’t last long in that role but he would however enjoy being assistant manager at Wigan Athletic and Birmingham City. Despite his managerial career being relatively short he did carve out a decent career as an assistant as he served a number of sides in the English Premier League and on a few occasions even took up caretaker roles for brief periods.

Name: Eric Black
Date of Birth: 1st October 1963
Place of Birth: Bellshill
Playing Position: Striker
Nationality: Scottish

Management Career:

Scotland Flag Motherwell 2001 2002
England Flag Coventry City 2003 2004
England Flag Birmingham City (Caretaker) 2007
England Flag Sunderland (Caretaker) 2011
England Flag Blackburn RoversĀ (Caretaker) 2012
England Flag Rotherham UnitedĀ (Caretaker) 2015
England Flag Aston Villa 2016

Playing Career:

Scotland Flag Aberdeen 1981 1985
French Flag Metz 1985 1991