League Two side Exeter City have parted company with first team manager Paul Tisdale. The 45 year old former Yeovil Town midfielder had been in charge at St James Park for 12 years, but is now widely expected to take up the vacancy at Milton Keynes Dons, who have just been relegated into League Two. The Grecians were beaten Play-Off Finalists this year, with Coventry City getting promotion to League One last weekend, but strictly speaking the issues behind Tisdale's departure lie before that point.
Tisdale had been operating on a rolling two year contract at Exeter, but was given notice on that deal in November 2016 following a poor start to the 2016-17 season. Ironically that has since resulted in Exeter reaching two consecutive League Two Play-Off Finals, which resulted in the Grecians Board offering him a replacement contract. With them needing to make plans for the 2018-19 season, they had set a deadline for Tisdale to sign the new deal. That deadline has now passed, and so Chairman Julian Tagg has announced that they will be looking elsewhere for a new boss:
"Regretfully, Paul has decided not to sign. We wish him the best of luck for the future and would like to thank him for his commitment to our club over the last 12 years. He has been a dedicated and successful manager, well respected both inside the Club and equally so in football generally and ever popular with players staff and volunteers, having worked so extremely hard to bring Exeter City to where we are today. Our offer of a new contract to Paul came with our express desire that he sign it in order to allow the club to plan and go forward with certainty. It is of course entirely Paul's prerogative that he should choose to let the club's deadline for a decision pass, but we are now at the point where we must move on and unexpectedly plan for a future without Paul as our manager. He has been Exeter City's most successful ever manager and he will always be welcome here and we wish him well."
Tisdale took Exeter City back into the Football League at the end of the 2007-08 Season, reversing the events that had led to their previous owners being kicked out of the club. He then gave them a second promotion to League One in 2008-09, and since then has helped Exeter build up a flourishing Academy system that has produced numerous first team players, as well as giving them in excess of £5 million worth of transfer income over the last five years.
In May 2018, he became the longest serving manager in the professional game, following Arsene Wenger's departure from Arsenal. That accolade now falls to Morecambe's Jim Bentley, who has been with the League Two side for just over seven years.
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