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Port Vale and Rochdale confirm permanent appointments of new managers

Port Vale and Rochdale confirm permanent appointments of new first team managers, making the announcements on Friday afternoon.

League One outfit Port Vale has announced that Andy Crosby will be their new manager after he was appointed after serving as interim management following the dismissal of Darrell Clarke.

Rochdale has appointed Jim McNulty, the interim manager who was in charge of them after their relegation to League Two, as their new head coach with the contract for two years.

The 38-year old took over the club temporarily in March after Jim Bentley had been sacked.

McNulty spent eight seasons as a player with the club, but he was unable to steer them towards safety, as their 102 year stay in the EFL ended this season.


Port Vale Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Andy Crosby as First Team Manager.

This will be Crosby’s first permanent position as manager but his coaching career started in 2006 when he was named player-coach under Nigel Adkins at Scunthorpe United.

In 2010 Andy joined Nigel Adkins at Southampton where the pair would guide The Saints from League One to the Premier League in back-to-back promotions.

Crosby would go on to assist Adkins at Reading, Sheffield United and Hull City before moving to the Northern Ireland Under-21 set-up as assistant to Ian Baraclough.

Andy came to Vale Park during the latter stages of the 2020/21 League Two campaign and became a permanent member of Darrell Clarke’s backroom staff in June 2021.

A stint as acting manager from February to May 2022 saw Crosby have a win percentage 52.9% in what was a promotion-winning season for the Valiants.

Speaking to us about the appointment, Director of Football David Flitcroft said: “We are delighted to announce Andy Crosby as our first team manager.

“He has shown and proved in his time as assistant manager, acting manager, and in support of the manager that he has the qualities required to lead the football plan as we move forward in our next chapter of progression on and off the pitch.

“He is highly regarded and respected by the staff and players and we feel he is ready for this opportunity.

“With his work and commitment to the club, he has continually shown all the qualities required to be successful as a manager.

“We have built a football plan that will continue to see the club grow, progress and drive us forward in League One and beyond.

“Andy can deliver the short, medium and long-term objectives that we have set out. We have backroom coaching and medical teams in place that can instil the culture and standards of the club whilst we continue developing and improving results and players.”

Co-owner and Chair Carol Shanahan OBE said: “We are over the moon that Andy will be continuing at Port Vale in the role as our first-team manager.

“During the two years that we’ve known Andy, it is clear to us that his personal values and the values of the club are aligned and we are looking forward to moving forward together.

“He has the trust of the board, staff and players and has built strong relationships across the club which ensures the first team will remain integrated with wider club objectives to give us the best chance of success on and off the pitch.

“We are now all looking forward to concentrating on what will be a busy and important Summer for the club as we head towards the new League One season under the leadership of Andy.”


Rochdale Football Club is delighted to announce Jimmy McNulty as our new Head Coach.

He has signed a two-year contract with the Club.

McNulty had two interim spells in charge of the team during the 2022/23 season, including our final eight games of the campaign, which yielded a return of three wins and three draws.

The 38-year-old, who has represented the club for eight seasons as a player, says he is proud and honoured to become Head Coach.

“The opportunity to lead our team and represent our club, which the fans cherish, has always been a dream of mine,” McNulty commented.

“To be given the opportunity at a club so close to mine and my family’s hearts, is really special to me.

“As a boy, first and foremost I dreamt of becoming a footballer, then when I did, I very quickly knew I wanted to become a manager thereafter.

“Within a couple of years of being a Dale player, I knew that this would be the club where I hoped to fulfil that ambition.

“Keith [Hill] often said I would be a future manager of the club and it fills me with great pride that I am able to do that.

“The most important thing to me moving forward is that everyone who comes to work for Rochdale Football Club is 100% committed to the team, the club and the town.

“The culture of our environment, and the culture of the changing room, are vital as we begin a new chapter in the club’s history.

“Our fans have supported myself and the team amazingly, which is something I truly appreciate. Nothing is possible without them, and I hope we can unite moving forward for the next part in the club’s story.”

Commenting on the appointment, the Board of Directors said:

“The Board is delighted to have appointed Jimmy McNulty as our Head Coach.

“Assisted by MRKT Insights, we have carried out a thorough recruitment process that included a long list, which was narrowed down to a five-man shortlist, culminating in his appointment.

“There was a wide-ranging criteria that Jim came out on top of. In his time here as a player, he has seen what success looks like at this Club.

“We are all looking forward to getting behind him as our rebuild and push towards regaining our place in the EFL gets underway.”

McNulty joined Dale as a player in the summer of 2015, following spells at clubs such as Macclesfield Town, Stockport County, Brighton & Hove Albion, Barnsley and Bury.

He has made 237 appearances for the club across eight seasons, more recently transitioning into a player/coach role for the previous two campaigns.

A full interview with our new Head Coach is available to watch below via our official YouTube channel.

Here’s how fans reacted as Port Vale and Rochdale confirm the permanent appointments of their new managers…


@PVFClh2142: I dont know why people think this is bad. All the players like him and will put in the effort for him and he is taking more risks than clarke. He has played james plant who has been brill and was playing butters more which darrel also didnt.

@thegrimsbyway: I’m not a port vale fan but what was the point of sacking Clarke?

@WJStanway1: We’ve got Super Andy Crosby. Think he’ll do a decent job but why sack Darrell to give it Crosby, doesn’t feel right however hope this goes well

@BigStevo_1976: Am I inspired, no. Will I get behind him, yes. Does he deserve the chance, yes. Does he have a good background, yes. I hope it works. I like the strong, physical and athletic mantra. It’s league one. Definitely an advantage.

@kieranb81: Don’t know why it’s taken so long to announce what you were always going to. Either way congrats to Croz and hope it’s a successful time

@davethevalefan: Love to be proven wrong, but see it going pear shaped come Nov/Dec. Recruitment of good lge 1 players, is now massive. Will we be able attract these players, a manager with zero experience, Vs one with elsewhere?

Sound, 🤞 good luck
Standby for the negativity………..

@EmilyCherryCEO: Congratulations AC – we will get behind you & team. My daughter always enjoys trying to work out what AC is shouting on touchline but as a manager hes always visible & directing from sidelines 🤍🖤

@TommieC98: Stinks of doing it on the cheap

@jordhansbury: The fact we’ve waited weeks to announce this when everyone knew it was going to happen is embarrassing. Must be on peanuts, cheap option, typical Vale, can’t say I’m surprised.

@pv1004: Please pass on congratulations to Andy Crosby on his appointment, he has 100% backing from me, and most other #pvfc fans and we can look forward to great times under his management. #portvale

@StevoSteventon: Either or, we now have what we have. Let’s see how the pre season goes and let’s all get behind him and the players. Let them do the talking and we can then do the judging in a few months time. VTID #PVFC #UTV

@traviscorden: LETS FUCKING GO, announce relegation 🔥

@Alfie14_: Some vale fan’s need to get a grip saying “were going down” give your head’s a wobble.

@MikePea86: Good luck AC, we’re all behind you ⚪️⚫️

@TheGolden_Z: You could have said this weeks ago…

@CeCeShakes21: Only justification for getting rid of a popular manager was to progress. Clarke deemed a failure but his assistant is progression? Walsall, Newport, Bristol rovers last season and that Charlton display still rank as the worst I’ve seen. To not even look elsewhere is criminal

@KyleC23: Not the best option and knew this was the option we were going chose, but let’s get behind him and see how it goes #pvfc

Obviously, we’ll get behind him, but this
1. Is uninspiring
2. Will have an effect on ST sales as per above
3. makes me still question why we sacked DC as we’ll be playing exactly the same style as we’ve already seen.
4. Means we need an amazing recruitment thus summer.


@EthanBo63042999: We obviously need to give him a chance but there was also some good options also. Big haul out of players if possible now.

@MITCHELLBARRON_: I have no issue with Jim getting the job. The issue for me is yet again giving another manager (of inexperience) a 2 year deal. If things go badly this season we will yet again have to pay out a manager with more than a year left on their deal

@MIGreenhalgh: The only sensible option for me with the club needing to find some stability. Lots of talk of needing an experienced new manager coming in but when did that last work for us? Ignoring reappointments it was probably Hollins over 20 years ago but even he inherited a decent squad.

@simmy4craggs: Biggest appointment in the history of the club. Hope its the right one.

@harryjones_1706: That is the least ambitious thing we’ve done in a while

@AlexBigal93: Very disappointing. Why is the current board making any decision on who the next permanent manager should be? If we’re really looking for investment, this should be left for the prospective board.

@zakw91: National league north incoming

Some fans wouldn’t be happy even if got Pep !
Let’s give him a chance.

@kieronRAFC: So so silly we needed an experienced manager 🫠

@jon_38dale: Not thrilled but he managed to get our current shower playing some half decent football. Let’s give him a chance.

@nathanscholes26: Fuck me let him have a chance first he didn’t do that bad result wise last 8 games

@GregIngham1: Poor appointment, God help us now

@Feeney1992x: Fucking boooooooooooo!

@JohnBar28691234: Right, the decision has been made. We don’t know who the other candidates were, but clearly McNulty was the best. Is this the right appointment, only time will tell. Hill had never been a manager when he was appointed. He did ok. All we can do is get behind the guy, and pray.

@Harry_Mixer: Even with doubts it’s time to get behind Big Jim. Up the Dale 💙🖤

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