Neil Warnock makes shock return to management at 75 as he takes charge of his 16th different club – just five months after leaving Huddersfield

5 February 2024 0 By Total Football News

Neil Warnock has made a shock return to management until the end of the season after a five-month hiatus. 

The 75-year-old veteran is one of the longest-serving managers in the game in the UK, with a long record in the English Football League that has seen him manage 15 different clubs prior to Monday’s announcement. 

In that time he has steered a total of seven different clubs to eight promotions throughout his career, taking charge of more than 2,000 matches. 

But it is not just in the lower rungs of the English ladder that he has found success; Warnock has taken three teams to the Premier League, and is thus one of the most respected managers in the English game. 

After his second spell at Huddersfield Town came to an end earlier this campaign – with Warnock keeping the Terriers up last season – he stepped away from the club and entered a five-month hiatus, but now makes his return.  

Neil Warnock has been appointed to his 16th managerial position in a career spanning more than 40 years

Neil Warnock has been appointed to his 16th managerial position in a career spanning more than 40 years

Warnock has taken charge of more than 2,000 games in English football - a national record

Warnock has taken charge of more than 2,000 games in English football – a national record

Warnock has been appointed Aberdeen boss, after the Dons called time on Barry Robson’s year-long tenure on January 31, with his sacking coming on the back of last Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Dundee at Pittodrie. 

The 75-year-old emerged as a leading contender for the job alongside Alex Neil, having left Championship side Huddersfield for the second time in his long career five months ago.

Warnock seemingly fended off the challenge of Neil, and was declared the new boss on Monday, ahead of a trip to Rangers and Ibrox on Tuesday. 

‘I’m really looking forward to the challenge here at Aberdeen,’ the veteran manager said on his appointment at Pittodrie.

‘I’ve made no secret of the fact I’ve always wanted to manage in Scotland so when I spoke to Dave and Alan and they asked me to help out it just felt like the right opportunity.

‘By all accounts there is a good group of lads here and it’s my job now to get the best out of them.

‘Aberdeen is a big club with clear ambition and I’m hoping that during my time here the supporters will get behind the team and I can put a smile on their faces.’

Warnock joins with his assistant Ronnie Jepson, while caretaker boss Peter Leven will continue in his position as first-team coach. 

Warnock was announced as the new Dons boss on Monday after emerging as a leading candidate

Warnock was announced as the new Dons boss on Monday after emerging as a leading candidate

The Scottish side are currently eighth in the table, six points clear of Ross County in 11th with the Dons therefore not entirely beyond the prospect of a relegation play-off at the end of the season. 

Aberdeen chairman Cormack told the club website: ‘From the moment we first spoke with Neil his enthusiasm for managing Aberdeen was infectious.

‘He has had an incredible career in management, not only in terms of volume of games and winning promotions, but also of coming into clubs at short notice and making an immediate impact.

‘We look forward to Neil, Ronnie (Jepson) and the team pushing hard in the remaining four months of the campaign as we still have a huge amount to play for both in the SPFL Premiership and the Scottish Cup.’

Warnock’s appointment until the end of the season also gives time for Aberdeen to complete their ‘planned detailed review of the football operation’ that began last year and will help the club in selecting a new management team ahead of the new season.

Has has overseen eight promotions with seven different clubs throughout a career spanning more than four decades

Has has overseen eight promotions with seven different clubs throughout a career spanning more than four decades

Cormack added: ‘Ambitious clubs regularly invest in independent advice to support internal coaching, data analysis, recruitment, and medical teams with the goal of improving performance through continuous learning and development.

‘The highly experienced team of independent advisors, who do this work with some of the best clubs across the globe, will make recommendations to allow us to understand what we can improve upon in terms of best practice going forward.

‘The review will include benchmarking the club against similar teams that currently outperform us in Europe.

‘With this work well under way, and due to be completed by early April, we are aiming to have a new management team confirmed by the end of the season.’