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National League boss named as joint-favourite for Rochdale job

A National League boss has been named as a joint-favourite for the Rochdale job after the surprise departure of their manager.

Five days ago, the club allowed manager Brian Barry-Murphy to leave Spotland at his request, following their relegation to League Two.

The former Dale midfielder, 42, was appointed in 2019 after initially taking over on a caretaker basis and he twice guided them to safety in League One but last season saw them fail to avoid the drop.

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Lee Riley and Jim McNulty will now take temporary charge of the club until a successor is found, something that could be done within two weeks.

A club statement said that Barry-Murphy was released from his contract after the board was approached by his representative.

“We would like to place on record our thanks to Brian for his service to the club over the last 11 years, in his roles as player, coach and manager,” the club said.

“We wish him every success in the future.”

His departure comes two days after chief executive David Bottomley also left Rochdale by mutual consent and two-and-a-half years in the role.

Barry-Murphy took over as Dale boss after Keith Hill was sacked near the end of the 2018-19 season, winning six of the final 11 games to keep them in League One with a 16th place finish.

The following season was interrupted by the pandemic and Rochdale preserved their third-tier status when the regular season was decided on a points-per-game basis.

The 2020-21 campaign didn’t go too well, however, with the manager defending his position midway through a season to forget which ended with them being relegated after six seasons in League One.

As mentioned, a National League boss has been named as the joint-favourite for the Rochdale job and that is FC Halifax Town’s Pete Wild.

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He is ranked high up for the job alongside former Ipswich defender and Colchester and Swindon manager John McGreal, both priced at 9/4 with Bet Victor and at 5/2 with Sky Bet.

Wild and assistant manager Chris Millington joined Halifax in summer 2019 and their new deals will keep them at The Shay for a further two years.

“I’m delighted,” Wild said, “it’s all been pretty smooth, very amicable on both sides and really pleased to be here for another couple of years.”

Reflecting on his two years in charge, the Town boss said: “I think we’ve put a structure and foundations in place, a one-club mentality, and we’ve built a structure in terms of recruitment and a structure in terms of how we want to do things, a performance-plan, and I think you’re seeing a lot of that this year.

“I feel a lot more composed and comfortable within myself because I know the structure’s there and there’s a platform and a process to work from.”

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When asked what he’s most pleased about from his time in charge so far, Wild said: “I think it’s just building the foundations of a solid structure of a football club that’s now gearing itself for the next level, and preparing to work on the next level. I think those foundations are in place now, which is great.”

Wild added: “I just want to keep building, keep progressing as a football club. Me and Chris were looking back over the two years the other day and we’re really pleased with what we’ve put in place.

“Do we think we’re anywhere near doing what we set out to achieve? No, but we feel like we’ve given it a good, solid base now that we can build from.

“I think they’ve been two absolutely chaotic seasons haven’t they, we’ve managed through a pandemic, which I never thought would be the first thing we’d have to deal with.

“You look back and think ‘yeah, it’s been a successful period’ but there’s so much more to do and, especially in football, you can’t rest on your laurels. If you do, you’re only as good as your last game and people will judge you, rightly or wrongly, in the short-term and not the long-term.”

When asked if he had a message for the club’s supporters, Wild said: “We can’t wait to have you back, we can’t wait to continue our journey with you, I hope you can see progress in the team, it isn’t going to be plain-sailing, you don’t just go out and win every week.

“There will be bumps in the road but I hope we’ve given you faith to see that when there are bumps in the road, we can adjust and come back from them.

“I’d encourage everybody to keep a pragmatic head on. Pragmatism’s what’s got us this far over the two years and that’s how we’ll continue to lead.”


John McGreal – 5/2
Peter Wild – 5/2
Keith Hill – 4/1
Jim McNulty – 5/1
Lee Riley – 10/1
Aaron Wilbraham – 14/1

Fans reacted to the top six favourites for the Rochdale manager’s job and to reports that the National League boss Pete Wild is named as joint-favourite…

@Feeneyx17: Yeah am with you there him or hilly for me

@mickscreams2112: Sorry never look back or go back! Huge mistake if this happened with Keith Hill, also don’t believe that many Dale fans would want him or his style of Football back

@positiveshaymen: He’s not going, he has to much integrity, he’s signed a new contract, he’s got his players to sign new contracts, he’s made commitments to his players and the club. Take it from me, he’s going nowhere. 😎

@nmclean77: Pete Wild to Rochdale………interesting as I’m pretty sure he is Oldham through-and-through, but, given how they treated him, he should do it and go and stick one up ‘em! 😂😂😂

@swindonmatt35: Get your money on mcgreal.

@southern_dale: Sol Campbell and Fabrice Muamba (U16s coach) would be two other picks for me, but I’m sure you’ve seen what I’ve said about Hill

@RochdaleFan: Sol Campbell would be no from me but Fabrice Muamba is an a good shout. There would be the question mark over if he is ready to step up but without getting a chance you never know.

@Cleggy316: Apparently Keith Hill was seen at the club last week, rocks up as his replacement I definitely won’t be renewing my tickets


@lee_brookfield: Glad he is gone tbh. The football over last 2 seasons has been naive and inconsistent at best. His win rate was so poor and with his style of football, we would have been kicked to death this season. Good luck to him, but glad we will now get the boards choice in and back him.

@Will_Butts: Unbelievable. On the eve of the season cards going on sale. All the necessary players signed up, many of whom are only here because BBM was manager. Bad to worse….

@Feeneyx17: Wow! 😳😳😳 didn’t see that coming

@ChrisHiggy: What the actual FOOK is going on at this club ??????

@Josh59865208: what the fuck

@SteveCoulthurst: This team is literally becoming a laughing stock ffs.

@TheSandyLaner1: Wow. @barbinho9 @CastlefieldDale @kevhsy BBM’s representative asked the board THE DAY BEFORE he requested to be released from his contract if the board wanted to buy him out of his contract!!!!!! They must have been sooooo disappointed when the board declined. Incredible.

@Mikeyt_78991: Shithouse trick doing this at such a critical pre season stage, good riddance to him and his turgid boring football. Onwards and upwards.

@jon_38dale: An excellent update. Given the circumstances surrounding how BBMs contract was extended in the first place, I am disgusted it was suggested on his behalf that the club might want to ‘buy him out’. He was lucky to have that contract. If you’re not committed, off you pop.

@adamgreenwood9: Communication from the club is quality. Very refreshing. Glad they told him no. Least we showed our class. Up the dale down the self isolating ale #RAFC

@Ben_m_1234: Unbelievable, glad he’s gone! Well done the board for saying no!

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