In this article, we take a look at the top six favourites to become next Wrexham manager with Dean Keates’ sacking confirmed on Sunday.
The Welsh outfit have confirmed the departure of their boss after the side narrowly missed out on the National League playoffs on the final day of the 2020/21 season.
Keates’ contract was due to expire at the end of the season and will not be renewed, with Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney having eyes on promotion next season, and this time they will have a good look at who to bring in.
Keates had been in charge since 2019 in what was his second spell as manager at the club, however he now departs the Racecourse along with assistant manager, Andy Davies and first team coach, Carl Darlington.
STATEMENT | Dean Keates
— Wrexham AFC (@Wrexham_AFC) May 30, 2021
Following the disappointment of falling just short of the National League play-offs, the Board have acted quickly to address the managerial position at the Club.
Manager Dean Keates, whose contract expired at the end of the season, has been informed that he will not be retained, along with his Assistant Manager, Andy Davies, and First Team Coach, Carl Darlington.
Co-Chairmen Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds said: “We would like to thank Dean, Andy and Carl for all their efforts on behalf of the Club, in what at times were challenging circumstances.
“We are committed to returning the Club to the EFL at the earliest opportunity and feel that a change of manager will provide us with the best chance of achieving that objective.
“Dean, Andy and Carl will always be welcome at the Club.”
The Club’s search for a new manager will commence with immediate effect.
– STATEMENT ENDS –
So then, who are Sky Bet’s top six favourites to become next Wrexham manager with Dean Keates’ sacking announced? Micky Mellon was the number 1 faovurite, until Tranmere then appointed him hours after Wrexham’s odds were released. Find out for yourself below…
1) Nigel Clough – 3/1
Nigel Clough is a former player and currently manages League Two outfit Mansfield Town. Playing predominantly as a forward, but later in his career used as a midfielder, Clough was capped by England 14 times in the early 1990s.
Clough is most notable for his time as a player at Nottingham Forest, where he played over 400 times in league, cup and European matches in two separate spells, mostly under the managership of his father Brian Clough, and put the ball in the back of the net 131 times throughout his career making him the second highest scorer in the club’s history.
He then had spells with Liverpool, Man City and Sheffield Wednesday before moving into non league at the age of 32 when he became player manager with Southern Football League Premier Division side Burton Albion in 1998. Over the next decade, during half of which he continued to play a regular role on the field, Clough guided Burton up from the seventh tier of the English football league system to the brink of promotion to League Two. He left midway through the 2008–09 season to follow in his father’s footsteps and take over at Derby County, where he served for four years until his dismissal in September 2013. He was appointed as manager of Sheffield United in October 2013, pulling them out of the relegation zone and taking them to FA Cup and League Cup semi-finals. He was later dismissed from the role in May 2015.
Clough returned to Burton Albion for a second spell as manager in December 2015, lead them to promotion to the Championship for the first time in the club’s history in May 2016 and the League Cup semi final in January 2019. Clough stepped down as Burton manager four years later in May 2020 due to the financial impact of the Covid pandemic on the club.
In November 2020 Clough returned to football, joining Mansfield Town as manager.
2) Mark Hughes – 4/1
Mark Hughes was reported to be in talks about replacing Gomes at Reading a while back, especially as he has a strong relationship with Reading sporting director Mark Bowen after they worked together at Wales, Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR, Stoke and Southampton.
Hughes was last in charge of Southampton, they made positive signings in that season’s summer window, but made a poor start and on the 2nd of December 2018, with the club 18th in the table, Hughes was dismissed. He was replaced by Ralph Hasenhüttl.
He failed to make Reading’s final shortlist went with Mark Bowen, yet at the time was favourite for the job at the Madejski.
He has recently expressed an urge to get back to managing again, and currently has his eyes on being the new boss at Celtic, showing where his aspirations are, would he really want to drop down to the National League?
3) Dave Challinor – 6/1
Challinor’s odds to become the next Tranmere Rovers boss was at one point in May, slashed from a 16/1 outsider to 4/1 favourite with BetVictor.
This sudden change set panic in the non league side’s fanbase, with Challinor held in high regard for taking the club from mid-table in the National League to a potentially their first promotion in 14 years.
Challinor has previous at Tranmere, making 140 league appearances for the Super White Army between 1994 and 2002.
It would seem some would have him at Wrexham, though right now, he is quite content with being at his current club, and it would be a real surprise if he jumped ship.
Colwyn Bay – 28 May 2010 2 November 2011 – 66 games, 34 wins, 12 draws, 20 defeats, 51.52 win%
AFC Fylde – 2 November 2011 12 October 2019 – 415 games, 226 wins, 93 draws, 96 defeats, 54.46 win %
Hartlepool United – 11 November 2019 Present – 69 games, 32 wins, 19 draws, 18 defeats, 46.38
Total – 550 games, 292 wins, 124 draws, 134 defeats, 53.09 win %
4) John Coleman – 10/1
John Coleman is and former player, currently manager of League One side Accrington Stanley, and what a job he’s done at that club.
He played for the likes of Kirkby Town, Burscough, Marine, Southport, Runcorn F.C. Halton, Macclesfield Town, Morecambe, Lancaster City, Ashton United and Rhyl – becoming one of the most prolific non-league goalscorers in history, with over 500 goals to his name in a career spanning almost two decades.
He was appointed player-manager of Ashton United in 1997. After two years, he left for Accrington Stanley then playing in the Northern Premier League First Division. His 12-and-a-half-year tenure saw the club win three promotions as champions to enter the Football League in 2006. He was also the club’s longest ever serving manager. At the time of his departure to Rochdale, Coleman was the third longest serving manager in England, behind Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger.
On the 24th of January 2012, Coleman and his assistant Jimmy Bell were appointed by Rochdale to replace Steve Eyre, who had left the club the previous month. Their contracts were terminated by the Greater Manchester outfit in January 2013 following a poor run in form. In October 2013, Coleman declared his interest in replacing Dave Hockaday as manager of Forest Green Rovers, but returned to Southport as manager on the 7th of December 2013, with Jimmy Bell once again as his assistant.
He took over as manager of Sligo Rovers in June 2014 before being appointed at Accrington in September 2014.
Ashton United – 1 August 1997 until 1 May 1999 – 91 games, 53 wins, 21 draws, 17 defeats, 58.2 win %
Accrington Stanley – 1 May 1999 until 23 January 2012 – 587 games, 236 wins, 148 draws, 203 defeats, 40.2 win %
Rochdale – 24 January 2012 until 21 January 2013 – 52 games, 14 wins, 14 draws, 24 defeats, 26.9 win %
Southport – 7 December 2013 until 3 May 2014 – 25 games, 8 wins, 8 draws, 9 defeats, 32.0 win %
Sligo Rovers – 21 June 2014 until 18 September 2014 – 15 games, 7 wins, 3 draws, 5 defeats, 46.7 win %
Accrington Stanley – 18 September 2014 until Present – 356 games, 147 wins, 90 draws, 119 defeats, 41.3 win %
Total – 1,126 games, 465 wins, 284 draws, 377 defeats, 41.3 win %
5) Jim Gannon – 12/1
Jim Gannon is a former footballer who was most recently manager of National League side Stockport County. He started and finished his career as a player in Ireland, but made most of his professional appearances in the EFL at Stockport County, where supporters elected him as a member of the Hall of Fame.
In his playing career, he had spells with Dundalk, Sheffield United, Stockport County, Halifax Town, Crewe, Alexandra and Shelbourne.
He spent over ten years at Stockport, becoming one of the club’s most loyal servants, and helped the club to second-place finishes in both the Second Division and Fourth Division, as well as two League Trophy finals.
Starting a career in management, he took charge of his first club Dundalk in 2004. After a season in Ireland he returned to Stockport as manager. He guided the club to promotion from League Two via the playoffs in 2008, lead County to safety in League One despite a ten-point deduction for entering administration, but lost his job as part of a cost-cutting measure.
Heading to Scottish Premier League side Motherwell, he managed the club in the Europa League, but left after just 25 games in charge. He took charge of Championship side Peterborough United in 2010, but stayed at the struggling club for only two months, turning down a four-year contract. In January 2011 he was appointed manager of Port Vale, but lasted just ten weeks in the job. He returned to Stockport in November 2011, as the club’s director of football and manager, before being sacked in January 2013. He took charge at Northwich Victoria in December 2013. He spent just over two years with Northwich before returning to manage Stockport County for the third time in January 2016. He led the club to promotion as National League North champions at the end of the 2018–19 season. He was axed with the club in fourth place, shocking many, whilst reasons behind his exit still remains unknown.
Meanwhile, BetVictor have gone with Jim Gannon (6/1), Micky Mellon (8/1), Phil Parkinson (10/1), Dave Challinor (10/1), Nigel Clough (14/1), David Flitcroft (14/1) and Shaun Pearson (14/1).
6) JOHN ASKEY – 12/1
The ex-Macclesfield boss departed Port Vale five months ago, after nearly two years in charge.
The manager has lost his job after a run of just six points from 12 games as the Vale have fallen out of playoff contention.
He left them five points above the relegation zone in the League Two table ahead of Saturday’s home game with second-from-bottom Grimsby Town.
The decision brought to an end Askey’s 23 months in charge of the Vale as his initial successful start was undone a dismal run of results.
Prior to that, he was with Shrewsbury Town, though won just 5 games out of 21 with the club in League One.
Before that, he managed to guide the Silkmen to National League 17/18 champions and was an FA trophy runner up with them the season before.
Fans reacted as the six favourites to become next Wrexham manager is revealed after the sacking was announced…
@GabSutton: Suspect this means we could be seeing a high-profile manager in the National League. Good luck to Dean elsewhere.
@n_rhys: Probably the right decision in the end. I still think it was the right appointment originally, he deserved the chance until the end of the season. Sad to see him go he was great player and a good manager. Good luck Dean, Andy & Carl. Excited now to hear who our next manager is.
@froomielol: Right decision. Keates was a great captain, and tried his best for us as manager. With the way the club is set up, it’s time for a new manager to come in and help to create something special. All the best, Dean. No doubt you won’t be out of work for long.
@aled174: Correct decision and I’m glad it’s been resolved so quickly. All the best and good luck to Dean, Andy and Carl in the future. Poor comments from Dean yesterday, and in my view, it’s an overdue decision, but Dean will always be a Wrexham legend in my eyes.
@simonwxm: Disappointed but the decision had been made months ago. I wish Dean, Andy and Carl all the best in their future endeavours. It will be interesting to see who they’ve got lined up.
@jonesywxm: Dean has gave his heart and soul to our club as player and coach, so that to me deserves the fans respect. Thank Dean again for moving us forward, but it unfortunately feel short at the end. Clearly he was frustrating, so time to give someone else a go #wxmafc
@Paskins_tache: Great player, tried hard in difficult times. Thanks and all the best for the future. Same goes for his coaching team. @keates12
@Ryankirky15: All seriousness it’s the right thing to do for the club and the only way we were gonna go forward, great player just not the best manager
@zionhopkins1: Dean you’ll be remembered as a legend of a player for the reds but as a manager it just didn’t work out. Good move going forward. COME ON TOWN!
@RoadMold: Wanted the best for you, Dean. Hoped we could do it without money. But we can’t. Hoped you’d get a go with the cash but the hard decision has been made. I appreciate you though, mate.
@JoshJones_98: Thank fuck for that, he shouldn’t have come back in the first place. Let’s get a proper manager in and win the league next year
@ngashcro: Always a tough decision, but right decision, glad it’s been made quickly, all the best Dean and team. Truly a new chapter ahead. I’m excited. Wales to win euros now !
@djpoveywfc: Thanks for everything Dean! Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be! All the best for the future!
Now you have seen the top six favourites to become next Wrexham manager, who would you like to see in charge? Let us know via our socials!