Paul Hecks Off To Elland Road
Barnsley have a short time ago confirmed the news most fans were expecting following the speculation late last night that Paul Heckingbottom had been approached by Leeds United.
The statement can be read in full on the Official Site although I would suggest how this has developed and the disappointment felt by those at Oakwell is summed up in the choice of words in the opening paragraph.
'Barnsley Football Club are thoroughly disappointed to announce that Paul Heckingbottom has joined Leeds United.'
The statement goes on to explain that he will now make the move to Elland Road 'instantly and that he will be joined by Jamie Clapham (first team coach), Nathan Winder (head of sports science) and Alex Bailey (first team performance analyst).
They also depart 'immediately'.
'The Club are shocked at Paul Heckingbottom`s desire to leave, having agreed a new contract with Barnsley Football Club last week following the completion of the January transfer window, where the Board of Directors worked tirelessly along with Paul to secure their targets, resulting in a successful window. This left the Club optimistic in a turnaround in form and a strong end to the 2017/18 campaign as we battle to retain our position in the league.'
Chief Executive Gauthier Ganaye added, having spoken only the other day about a successful transfer window.
'Yes, it was unexpected. Yes, it has come during an already complicated period. Yes, it will make things more difficult short term, but our Club is full of resources and it is certainly not dependent on one man alone. I`m asking everyone from the players, employees and our loyal fans to come together as we have an important game on Saturday.'
The club do make the point that despite the disappointment at the departure and the speed to which it happened, there are thanks to have on record for Heckingbottom's work and that of his backroom staff having guided us to promotion, a Johnstone's Paint Trophy and our highest Championship finish in 20 years.
Paul Harsley has now been appointed caretaker manager as we undertake a new head coach search.