Pompey take unusual route for new boss Cook

Harry Redknapp moved from Saints to Pompey to begin his second spell as manager at Fratton Park
Harry Redknapp moved from Saints to Pompey to begin his second spell as manager at Fratton Park

PAUL COOK is only the second person in more than 15 years to quit as a manager elsewhere to take over as Pompey boss.

The other one? Harry Redknapp.

The Blues are closing in on announcing the 48-year-old as their replacement for Andy Awford with the buy-out clause in his Chesterfield contract met.

Recruiting a manager from another club has been a rare approach from the Blues in recent times, instead focusing on those already at the club or out of work.

Tony Pulis was tempted from Bristol City in January 2000 when Milan Mandaric was at the helm as owner, albeit lasting nine months.

But since that appointment, only Redknapp has walked out on a club to make the move to Pompey – when he left Southampton in December 2005.

In doing so, he kept the club in the Premier League via the Great Escape and won the FA Cup in 2008.

Now Cook will follow suit, persuaded to leave League One to take over the Fratton Park reins as he strives to resurrect a club which has just recorded its lowest position in its Football League history.

Looking back since the appointment of Pulis, in the subsequent 15 years and three months, Pompey have largely relied on staff already at the club to become boss.

Andy Awford and Guy Whittingham have been recent examples – elevated from Academy boss and first-team coach respectively following caretaker spells.

When Redknapp walked out for the second time in October 2008, Tony Adams and then Paul Hart were in turn promoted from within during the remainder of the 2008-09 campaign.

Assistant-manager Adams lasted 22 games, while director of youth operations Paul Hart had the remaining 14 matches as caretaker boss as the Blues avoided Premier League relegation.

Hart was that summer presented with the role on a permanent basis, until director of football Avram Grant stepped in following his November 2009 dismissal.

Of course, Redknapp’s first Pompey job was as director of football, but when Graham Rix was sacked in March 2002 he became manager.

Another promotion from within was Velimir Zajec, the club’s executive director taking over following Redknapp’s November 2004 exit for Southampton.

Finally, Steve Claridge had four-and-a-half months in charge as player/manager from October 2000 after Pulis was sacked.

Those out of work recruited by the Blues since January 2000 have been Rix, Alain Perrin, Steve Cotterill and Richie Barker.

Meanwhile, Michael Appleton departed West Brom as assistant manager.

Incidentally, Appleton (Blackpool) and Cotterill (Forest) left Pompey for other jobs during that period.

Redknapp (Southampton) and (West Ham) Grant resigned before joining their new clubs.

So welcome Paul Cook.