Sheffield United hope to unveil Nigel Clough’s successor by the end of the month, writes James Shield.
Bramall Lane’s hierarchy, including co-owners Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, last night began the process of finalising a short-list of names to replace the 49-year-old after he was sacked yesterday.
Bradford City’s Phil Parkinson and former Brentford chief Mark Warburton are known to boast admirers among the League One club’s board of directors while Chris Morgan will hope to be considered for the vacant post following two previous spells in caretaker charge.
Nigel Adkins, most recently of Reading, and MK Dons’ Karl Robinson have also previously been considered for the role.
A statement posted on United’s official website yesterday said: “Sheffield United today announce that Nigel Clough, the club’s first team manager, and his management staff, are to leave Bramall Lane with immediate effect following the decision by the board that a change in direction was necessary for the forthcoming season.
“The search for the club’s new first team manager will now start and it is hoped that this will result in identifying and recruiting the right candidate within a relatively short period of time.”
It continued: “The club would like to place on record its thanks to Nigel, as well as his backroom staff of Gary Crosby, Andy Garner, Martin Taylor, Simon Clough, Michael Forsyth and Matt Brown for their contribution to the Club during their time at Bramall Lane and wish them all well for their future.”
Parkinson could be tempted to explore the possibility of becoming United’s eighth permanent manager since 2007 if speculation surrounding Gianni Paladini’s proposed takeover of the club continues to cast doubt over his long-term future.
Warburton’s situation, which raises the intriguing possibility of his assistant and Clough’s predecessor David Weir returning to South Yorkshire, is complicated by the fact that Rangers view him as a potential appointment should they decide against installing Stuart McCall. Likewise a desire not to work below Championship level after previously guiding Brentford out of the third tier.
Neil Redfearn and Hibernian’s Alan Stubbs are also believed to be considering requests by advisors to submit applications.
Clough, who is understood to have been caught unawares by yesterday’s announcement, led United into the League One play-off semi-finals earlier this month and boasted a near 50 per cent win ratio since taking charge in October 2013.