Cove Rangers can confirm the departure of Paul Hartley as first team manager.
Having been given permission to speak to Hartlepool United, and having had lengthy negotiations with the EFL League Two club, Paul had initially chosen to remain at Balmoral Stadium. The English side then returned with a further improved offer which he decided to accept.
Compensation has now been agreed and Paul leaves with the best wishes of everyone at Cove Rangers FC. His assistant, Gordon Young, will also be joining Hartlepool.
After almost a year out of the game following a disappointing spell at Falkirk, Paul Hartley took up the reins in the summer of 2019 as the club prepared for its debut season in the SPFL. He was to make an immediate impact, leading Cove to the cinch League Two title, and after play-off disappointment in 2021, guiding the team to the League One crown last season.
Strenuous efforts were made by the board to persuade him to remain with the club, but they were to no avail.
Chairman Keith Moorhouse spent long hours discussing the deal, “This has been on the table for the past couple of weeks, and I know Paul was torn between the loyalty he feels towards us and his desire to manage in England. The lure of full-time football was also a major factor, and in the end, I think that, and the improved offer from Hartlepool, swung it their way”.
Paul Hartley has been a major figure in the success Cove Rangers have achieved in recent seasons, but Mr Moorhouse believes the club has also been beneficial for him, “It has been a two-way thing. We gave Paul the tools, and the budget, to do the job and he has met all our expectations. We knew this day would come; we just hoped it might have been further down the line.”
And the chairman now expects to be inundated with names as he decides who the new manager will be, “We obviously have a few names in mind, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I hadn’t already drawn up a short-list, but we are open to suggestions, and I’m sure this will be an attractive position to many within the game. Whoever takes up the reins, they will get the same backing Paul enjoyed. The journey doesn’t end just because the manager has left. As a club we have realistic ambitions for the next few years, and they will be implemented irrespective of who is running the team. We will support the new man just as we have our previous managers, and I remain as confident and positive about the future as I have always been”.
There will be no further comment from anyone at the club at this stage.
Cove Rangers FC would like to invite applications for the post of first team manager. Interested parties should in the first instance apply by email to HR@coverangersfc.com
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