Mumbai City FC has parted ways with head coach Des Buckingham, who is reportedly the frontrunner to become the manager of English third division side Oxford United, Sportstar can confirm. He is expected to take over from Liam Manning, who joined Bristol City, earlier this month.
The English side is being managed by caretaker manager Craig Short since.
Buckingham arrived at Mumbai City in October 2021, having moved within City Football Group following his role as Assistant Coach at Melbourne City, and took charge of the Islanders only weeks before the start of the 2021-22 league season.
Though the team narrowly missed out on the ISL playoffs in his maiden league campaign, it was under him that MCFC became the first Indian club to win two games at Asia’s premier club football competition, the AFC Champions League, finishing in an unprecedented second place in the Group Stage, narrowly missing out on qualification to the knockout stages.
In the ISL 2022-23 season, the Islanders won the ISL League Winners’ Shield, with a record 14-match winning run under Buckingham. After the campaign, he had penned a two-year contract extension, keeping him at the club until 2025.
The club has not announced the departure officially but Sportstar understands that Oxford United had to pay a “healthy compensation package” to secure the services of the former New Zealand youth coach.
Oxford United sits second in the EFL League One, with 35 points from 16 matches, and is on a five-match unbeaten run.
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