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Top six favourites to become new Rochdale manager as League Two’s bottom club sacks boss

The top six favourites to become new Rochdale manager is revealed as League Two‘s bottom club sacks boss Jim Bentley following a poor tenure.

He leaves seven months into the job, and replacing him on an interim basis until the end of the season is Jim McNulty, with assistant Nick Chadwick also leaving.

Jim Bentley, 46, replaced Robbie Stockdale after the club lost their first four league games of the season.

Dale has won six of 32 league games under his leadership and are now 10 points behind Crawley, 22nd place with eight games remaining.

Saturday’s defeat at Broadfield Stadium was their 24th league defeat of the season, and pushed them closer to relegation.

Dale lost more fourth tier games than any other English football team this term, and now looking at the situation they find themselves in, it’s mad to think they were playing in League One just two years ago.

After going down in 2020-21, the club finished 18th last season in their second campaign back in League Two, having been promoted in 2013-14.

After Stockdale’s exit, they got their first league victory in late September when they beat Colchester, and went a run of three wins from four games along with a Papa Johns Trophy victory against Liverpool Under-21s, but then won just twice in all competitions between October and their win against Stevenage in March 2023.


Rochdale Football Club can confirm that it has parted company with First Team Manager Jim Bentley.

Assistant Manager Nick Chadwick will also depart the club.

We would like to place on record our thanks to Jim and Nick, and wish them every success in the future.

Jim McNulty will take interim charge of the team until the end of the season, starting with Saturday’s game at AFC Wimbledon.

The Board of Directors would like to offer an update to supporters, following yesterday’s announcement regarding the departures of Jim Bentley and Nick Chadwick.

Firstly, we would encourage everyone to get fully behind Jim McNulty and the squad for the remaining eight games of the season, starting this Saturday away at AFC Wimbledon. Jim has been an incredible servant to the club since joining in 2015, both as a player and coach. We are thankful to him for again taking interim charge at a difficult period and will be giving him our full support.

Although EFL survival is now an extremely long shot, it is vital that the rest of this season is used to prepare for the 2023/24 campaign, whatever division that may be in, as it will be a hugely important season in the history of our club.

The Board of Directors also wishes to acknowledge the efforts of Jim Bentley and Nick Chadwick over the past seven months in what proved to be challenging circumstances.

It is important at this stage to accept the fact that, whilst the Manager picks the team, they can never be held 100% responsible in isolation for on-field results, whether those results be positive or negative. As well as First Team Management, other departments, including club leadership, must share that responsibility.

As such, the Board of Directors has commissioned leading football consultancy service MRKT Insights to conduct a thorough review of football operations at the club. Following initial talks that began in December 2022, the review will now commence immediately, and report prior to the conclusion of the 2022/23 season. Amongst several other areas, management and player recruitment processes, First Team squad modelling, and Academy player pathways will all be examined in detail. MRKT Insights will continue to provide an ongoing service to the Board and management following the initial review.

With important annual milestones such as Season Card release and kit launch on the horizon, the club will be working hard in the coming weeks to meet the needs of supporters as best as possible. As always, the club welcomes feedback and supporter consultation in these and any other areas.

The search for investment partners also continues, with members of the Board regularly meeting with interested parties. As soon as there is anything concrete to report in this area, a full update will be provided to shareholders and fans alike.

The Board would like to thank every supporter, sponsor and stakeholder for their continued support of Rochdale AFC throughout a 2022/23 season that, despite significant effort set against constrained resources, has not been good enough.


Tue 28 March – 9:30am – BetVictor
Jim McNulty – 3/1
Graham Alexander – 6/1
Nigel Adkins – 6/1
Keith Hill – 6/1
Brian Barry Murphy – 8/1
Chris Beech – 8/1

www.fanbanter.co.uk – Fan reaction to the latest football news, gossip & funnies

Rochdale fell to defeat at Crawley over the weekend, with two first-half goals for the hosts extended the gap between the two sides to ten points.

“I’m responsible for the players,” said Bentley.

“I’ve stuck by them. Since the turn of the year, there have been some real strong performances, we haven’t always got what we’ve deserved.

“But we’ve come up short today. We haven’t been good enough, with or without the ball. It was a big, big game. Will I take responsibility? Yes. I’ll apologise to the fans. I deserved all the criticism because they are my players, but the players have got to be accountable as well.

“It’s not what we’ve been. We didn’t deserve anything today. It’s very disappointing. We’re not throwing the towel in but we’re in a terrible position.

“It’s looking bleak, but there are always mad moments in football. It’s the loneliest place in the world being a manager, certainly when you’re bottom of the league. We’ve squoze every ounce out of the group that we can do, and we’ll continue to do that. I certainly won’t throw the towel in.

“The club has had a lot of doom and gloom over the last few years but I can only speak positively about the fans. I’m open to criticism because I’m in charge of the group and I take that.

“I spoke to someone yesterday who was leaving at half seven this morning, spending his hard-earned money, and we’ve let them down today. The fans have travelled in great numbers, they’ve got behind us, but we haven’t served up enough.

“We’ve let them down and I’m sorry about that, but we’ve got to make sure we stick together and do keep going.”

SEE MORE: Jim Bentley gives ‘defeatist’ interview as Gillingham put more misery on bottom club Rochdale

This is what fans said with the top six favourites to become new Rochdale manager revealed as League Two’s bottom club sacks boss Jim Bentley…

@SpireiteC: Toby mullarkey must be looking at what he’s joined with a bit of disappointment, had a good club moving forwards at alty, and offers from several teams who were arguably in a much better place than rochdale

@thatseriphosi: From his point of view though, he’s proven he’s capable of league football by being one of our best players since he signed, and should easily pick up a FL club when we predictably receive offers in summer.

@garybrierley: The correct decision but I’m baffled why it didn’t happen sooner. Unless Bentley and Chadwick have agreed to reduced severance to avoid another relegation on the CV.

@chrisjbaines22: slightly annoys me that. proves we could do it before and chose not to, unless he’s resigned in which case it still annoys me as he should’ve done it earlier

@jon_38dale: The next managerial appointment is massive if we are to compete in the National League

@GHCoaches: The Crawley effect at work again – it’s surprising the numbers of managers who have been sacked after losing to Crawley since we came into the league.

@MEBaines: No joy in this whatsoever. Bentley clearly wasn’t good enough but we’ve known that for months, what can anyone possibly do now?

@harring11tons: Too late. Should of been november

@olicommins_: Only a few months too late eh

@CjecSc: Poor appointment end of story… the next appointment is crucial

@kieronRAFC: To little to late unfortunately I wouldn’t have give it mcnulty to end of season get someone new in quickly so they can access players and prepare for next season effectively

@mark25ogden: Jim Gannon

@Gandermonium: 10 adrift with 8 left, not sure there’s much point is there lads? If it works though, then fair play….

@MessyRAFC: Board finally makes a good decision, yet it’s overridden by the awful decision of not doing it months ago. Time for the most incredible managerial stint in footballing history as Big Jim wins at Harrogate to keep us up. Roll on Wimbledon away on Saturday #RAFC

@RochdaleAFCcom: Bring in a DOF before we hire a manager please.

@rochdale_afc32: Way to late whats the point 🤣

@FchtMarkd: Chris Millington would be a perfect fit for Rochdale,. Please contact Halifax Town ASAP 🤝

@garnwaa: Sad to see Rochdale like this, probably the best team I’ve ever seen in L2 in and around 2010 when you had the likes of Dagnall, O’Grady, Le Fondre, Jones, Thompson ect… Hope you manage to get things back on track

@MellishShaun: At last ……. Too late to save us though , let’s get the right man in place for a tough job next season 👍💙🙏🏻

@MarkFCHT: Sorry to see Rochdale in such a mess, if/when you get relegated get ready for a good few years in the NL. It’s an incredibly difficult league to get out of…..unless you get relegated again. Will enjoy my trip to Spotland.

@12Henryfrance: Not sure why this is only just occurring now? About 10 games too late and we are now all but relegated regardless 🤷‍♂️

@AKBets87: 1/33 for Relegation. Too late. Whoever stopped Ethan Brierley playing for the club more culpable.

@FootballMyerp: Correct decision but way too late. Think Jim was a good guy who did his best but in the end he wasn’t up to it

@White_Iverson97: As if they’ve only just sacked him now, should’ve been done ages ago, could’ve maybe turned their season around. Too late now.

@Alex_Jordan85: Bit late in the day! Hope you can still escape it lads, be sad to see you go down

@OliverGollcher: Need to get someone who can plan for next season as we ain’t coming back from this so might as well use this time to try a push next season

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