Danny Wilson’s second managerial spell at Barnsley is over - and arguably when no one really expected it.
Wilson, and his assistant boss Chris Hutchings, were both sacked yesterday morning when Reds’ chief executive Ben Mansford and club chairman Maurice Watkins delivered the unwanted news with the club hovering on 17th position in League One.
And then the club’s players were addressed by the duo before Mark Burton, the Head of Academy Coaching, and Senior Development coach Paul Heckingbottom were put in caretaker charge for tomorrow’s away clash with Crawley Town at the Broadfield Stadium.
“It was a very tough decision to make, but we should be doing better than we are,” stressed Mansford.
“It was difficult because Danny is a very good person, but on balance we felt it was the right decision.
“The biggest commercial revenue generator is the results on the pitch.
“We want to increase the value of the playing squad and, if we do that, then we’ll realise our ultimate ambition of being back in the Championship. We should be doing just a little bit better than what we’re doing on balance at the moment, especially with the fantastic support we get from the owner [Patrick Cryne] and the Cryne family.”
But who will now replace Wilson at the Oakwell helm with the club having struggled to find a firm footing in League One this season?
As usual the managerial merry-go-round is in full swing with former Sheffield Wednesday boss Brian Laws and former Reds player Craig Hignett linked with the vacancy. Gary Johnson, Dave Jones and Paul Jewell have also been linked but whoever takes over will have a task on their hands to get Barnsley back in the Championship - where its owner, and Mansford, believe they belong.
“I don’t want to put too much information out there in the public as we try and do our business privately,” added Mansford.
“That’s the way we’ve tried to do with our transfer dealings in recent times. But we’ll continue to do that with most of the important decisions at the football club. We’ll re-assure the fans that we’ll get somebody who can realise their aspirations as well as our own, which is Championship football back at Oakwell at the earliest opportunity.
“We understand why certain things might not have worked recently and we’ll try and rectify them with the appointment that we’ll try and make. It’s about the right appointment, but we’re not going to put any time frames on it.
“It may take a week, but it may take longer. I think we’ve got a rough idea of the type of qualities the individual needs, but they need to buy into what we’ve talked about.”