Richmond Upon Thames, UK (May 15, 2022) — Ted Lasso, the affable, folksy, often controversial American manager of the Richmond FC Greyhounds, abruptly announced his resignation Saturday in a rambling, sometimes tearful monologue before members of the sporting press.
The surprise announcement came during halftime of the Greyhounds’ 4-0 route at the hands of Arsenal. Assistant coach and former Richmond midfielder Roy Kent stepped in as manager for the second half, and is expected to continue in that role on an interim basis. Lasso did not return to the pitch with his team after halftime and reportedly left Nelson Road before the game’s conclusion.
“F**k if I know what happened,” Kent said after the game. “All I know is that maybe we can get back to running some f**king drills in practice rather than this Dr. Phil rubbish we were always doing. I don’t know what he was trying to accomplish half the time, but it was not f**king football.”
In a prepared statement, Richmond owner Rebecca Welton said that “the life lessons Coach Lasso taught all of us will be sorely missed. He was much more than just a manager – he was a mentor, a dear friend and an exemplary baker of British breakfast treats.”
It was a predictably unpredictable conclusion to Lasso’s two-year stint, during which time he defied many Premier League conventions while leading the Greyhounds back from relegation, as well as to a league-record eight consecutive ties.
“I’m just gonna be real honest with y’all for a second here,” Lasso said after beckoning reporters inside his small office adjoining the Richmond locker room. “You know I’ve always been straight with you. Well, except for that one time when I said I walked out of a game because of food poisoning when I was actually experiencing a complete mental and emotional collapse.
“But this here’s the truth that I’m sharing with you now. And the truth is, I just can’t go on as the Greyhounds manager. Not for one second longer. To do that would be just as dishonest and deceitful as Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga denying the white-hot physical chemistry they so obviously shared while singing “Shallow” at the 2019 Oscars.
“And that would be plain wrong.”
Lasso, who has a career record of 36-30-25 as head man of Richmond FC, paused to take a prolonged swig from his bottle of Dasani water, then continued.
“Look, I’ve had a great time here at Richmond. Y’all have taught me things I never would have learned anywhere else – like how ‘WC’ is short for ‘water closet,’ which is just another term for what we call ‘bathroom’ back in the states.
“But I woke up this morning and I thought to myself, ‘What in the Sam-heck am I doing over here in England when I’ve got a young boy thousands of miles away in Kansas who I only talk to once a week on FaceTime?’
“I mean, I talk all the time to our players about becoming better men, becoming better human beings, not only in what y’all call ‘football,’ but in this amazing game we call life. But, how can I preach about being your very best when I’m not even around to raise my 12-year-old son?”
Lasso turned toward his office window, where nine or 10 Richmond players pressed their faces against the glass, possibly wondering what their coach could be talking about. It was 2-nil, Arsenal, and nearly time for the second half.
A tear rolled down Lasso’s cheek as the native Kansan continued to speak in that strange but familiar accent that seemed more rooted in the American South than the Midwest.
“So, I’m out. I’m done. I know a lot of people say they want to ‘spend time with their family’ when they quit something, but this time it’s real. I just can’t be the man I’m supposed to be when there are people I love and care about on the other side of the pond.”
He turned to leave, then wheeled back toward the reporters. Those who have covered the tumultuous reign of Ted Lasso knew from experience that the American coach could rarely stop himself when he had something more to say.
“One other thing – I still don’t understand this game. I still don’t get the offsides rules. And why can’t you score a goal from a throw-in? Why can’t you just throw the ball into the dang goal? That would be cool, wouldn’t it? Makes no logical sense to me why you can’t do that.
“Come to think of it, I was really a crappy hire and it’s amazing we even won a game, especially with all the stuff going on in everyone’s personal lives. This would make a great TV show, I guess, but let’s face it – y’all deserve a real soccer coach.”