From the Rage Online newsdesk Friday, March 19th, 2004  

Bristol Rovers have announced that their new manager is to be Ian Atkins from the start of next season. Atkins’s contract with United expires in the Summer, although there is an automatic one-year extension if Oxford are promoted. Atkins has been offered a two-year deal at the Memorial Ground, and Rovers’ chairman Geoff Dunford has also said that there will be funds available to buy players.

Atkins will remain with Oxford for the rest of this season, as the club looks to put its poor recent form behind it and begin challenging for automatic promotion again, starting tomorrow at Mansfield. It remains to be seen whether his position at the club will be teneble for the next few weeks, or whether his imminent departure will prove too much of a distraction and he will be allowed to leave earlier. When questioned about the announcement, United chairman Firoz Kassam claimed he knew nothing about it.

One good aspect of having this much advance notice is that it allows Kassam plenty of time to look for a replacement. There will doubtless be a large number of names linked with the club and the rumour-mill will go into overdrive, with Graham Rix and Martin Keown already linked to the forthcoming vacancy (with no evidence whatsoever, it has to be said). Recently John Taylor has been sacked by Cambridge, and Brian Flynn has lost his job at Swansea, but there are plenty of other candidates out there available for work and who would doubtless relish the opportunity to manage United, especially if it’s a Division Two side next season.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 19th, 2004 at 12:00 am and appears under 2004, News Items, OldNews. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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