He may have lasted considerably longer than Steve Claridge managed at Millwall, but Sean O'Driscoll is set to go down in legend as one of the few football managers to never actually take charge of a competitive game. His tenure at Crawley Town has lasted a total of 64 days, across the summer of 2012, with tonight's news that he has taken up the position of First Team Manager at the City Ground, returning there after working as a first team coach under Steve Cotterill last season.
At first glance, you'd think that the press release on Forest's website may come as a bit of a surprise to Crawley's Chief Executive Alan Williams, who told TalkSport Radio earlier today:
"I’ve not spoken to Forest and neither has Sean. Sean O’Driscoll is our manager and looking forward to the season with Crawley Town."
In the time it takes to drive around the M25 and up the M1, it appears that the move actually has been on the cards. Bizarrely in a statement on the Crawley website, Williams now speaks of "lengthy and intensive negotiations" between the two clubs to agree compensation for their manager. To add to the confusion, Williams has also had to deny that his Director of Football Steve Coppell was also heading to Forest. As yet there's no suggestion that he is likely to move. Earlier today, Williams told the Brighton Argus:
"Steve Coppell is our director of football and will be come the start of the season, the middle of the season and the end of the season. Simple as that."
O'Driscoll's tenure at Crawley was almost twice the length of the 36 days that Steve Claridge spent at the New Den in 2005, with Chairman Theo Paphitis stating that "we had a strong chance of being relegated under Steve" - having been in charge for four pre-season friendly fixtures.
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