BOURNEMOUTH, England — A 9-0 thrashing by Liverpool and veiled criticism of his club’s strategy in the transfer market was too much for Scott Parker to survive as Bournemouth manager.
The former England midfielder was fired on Tuesday, becoming the first coach in the English Premier League to lose his job in August — traditionally the opening month of the season — since 2004.
Parker lasted only four games of Bournemouth's return to the top division, the last one being that rout at Anfield which marked the south-coast team's third straight loss and tied the record for the heaviest defeat in the Premier League's 30-year history.
After Saturday's game, Parker said some of his players “are ill-equipped at this level,” with Bournemouth having come off a 4-0 loss at Manchester City and a 3-0 loss at home to Arsenal in its previous two games.
Parker said there were “a million reasons” why the club had not brought in higher-quality talent in the summer transfer window, which closes on Thursday. In a summer of record spending by Premier League teams totalling more than $1.75 billion, Bournemouth has brought in three players on free transfers and signed two others for a total cost of around $27 million.
In the club's statement announcing the departure of Parker, Bournemouth owner Maxim Demin didn't mention the Liverpool game but, tellingly, did say it was “unconditional that we are aligned in our strategy to run the club sustainably.”
“We must also show belief in and respect for one another,” Demin said. “That is the approach that has brought this club so much success in recent history, and one that we will not veer from now.”
Parker was hired by Bournemouth in the offseason of 2021 and guided the south-coast team to promotion.
Bournemouth started life back in the league with a 2-0 win over Aston Villa but has since conceded 16 goals in three games without scoring a goal.
Parker previously coached Fulham in a 2 1/2-year spell that included relegation twice from the league and one promotion in between.
“I would like to place on record my gratitude to Scott and his team for their efforts during their time with us," Demin said. “Our promotion back to the Premier League last season under his tenure will always be remembered as one of the most successful seasons in our history.”
Bournemouth is back in action on Wednesday, hosting Wolverhampton. Gary O’Neil, an assistant coach, will take interim charge of the team.
In terms of days since the start of a season, the firing of Parker (25 days) is the 12th quickest in Premier League history. The earliest was Paul Sturrock, who was sacked by Southampton nine days into the 2004-05 season. Bobby Robson was also fired by Newcastle that month.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, another team beaten 9-0 at the weekend fired its manager on Tuesday.
Dundee United was hammered by Celtic by that score on Sunday in Jack Ross' seventh game in charge. Ross was fired with the team in last place in the Scottish Premiership and having also been defeated 7-0 in a Europa Conference qualifying match at AZ Alkmaar this month.
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Steve Douglas, The Associated Press