Barnsley Football Club are thoroughly disappointed to announce that Paul Heckingbottom has joined Leeds United.
The 40-year-old will move to Elland Road instantly. Heckingbottom will be joined by Jamie Clapham (First Team Coach), Nathan Winder (Head of Sports Science) and Alex Bailey (First Team Performance Analyst) who will also all depart Oakwell 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.
Barnsley Football Club Chief Executive Gauthier Ganaye commented: “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 want to place on record their thanks and best wishes to Paul Heckingbottom and his coaching team. Having taken on the role of Head Coach in February 2016, he has guided his home town Club to promotion, a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy victory and the highest Sky Bet Championship finish in 20 years.
Until a new Head Coach is appointed, Paul Harsley will take caretaker charge. The board fully trusts him to lead the team whilst getting the maximum levels out of the squad and we all support him in this new role as caretaker.
Ganaye added: “Paul Harsley knows the Club through and through. He has a sound knowledge of the Club as a whole and the team, which makes him the ideal person to lead us towards what is an important game for the town, the Club and the fans. Let’s get behind them!”