Dons chairman, Dave Cormack provided an update on the search for a new manager earlier today.
Commenting on the club website, he said: “There are relationships that get built up, and it does not matter what kind of business it is, the hardest part of the job is always when people part company. I have worked with Derek and Tony and supported them for almost four years now.
“Derek is someone I have a tremendous amount of time for. It has been well documented the performances, the results, and the lack of goals since the beginning of January in particular have not been what we wanted. I remember a conversation I had with Derek a few months ago when he said, because the chairman-manager relationship is critical, if you ever get to the stage where you think I have run my time at Aberdeen I want you to be honest with me. So, on Monday last week I had that conversation with him. It was my judgement that it was time for a change. We had a very constructive conversation around the timing, and I explained to Derek that I did not want to wait till the summer where there are so many players out of contract so we would prefer to make the move now.
“So, it was a judgment from my perspective and as a board we felt the timing was right to give a new manager time to get things right for next season.
“Derek leaves a tremendous legacy.
“From the 1990s up until 2013 when Derek and Tony arrived, we for much of that time were in the wilderness. Like many clubs, Aberdeen speculated from the TV money in the 90s and landed up having a debt of nearly £15 million. Derek and Tony came in and took the club from being a perennial bottom six side and dragged us back onto its feet and put in a level of professionalism right across the board.
“Derek’s legacy is being one of the most consistent managers in the history of this club, with top six finishes, with European football every year and of course the 2014 League Cup win. So, Derek will be a tough act to follow.
“When I finish this interview, I am spending time with some of the other board members to go through the applications and some of the approaches that we have made over the last week. It has only been a week, and can I make it clear not one person has been offered the job yet.
“We have a process, and it will take as long as it takes. It might take two weeks. It might take longer. But there is a process we have to go through.
“We have got a strategy at the club that we put in place for on and off the field in May 2019. It makes it clear what we are about. Off the field we have made a number of changes, positive changes in my mind and we have grown our off the field revenue. Similarly, on the field we have a strategy on the philosophy of how we want play and how we want to bring younger players through into the first team. So, we have a clear criteria for what we are looking for. We will sift through those applications this afternoon and get on with the process as quickly as we can.
“We have had some unexpected applications. We have had applications from Scotland, from England, from Europe, applications from the United States. Aberdeen is an historic club, and it is a highly sought after position. It is a precious position for anyone.
“We have a strong board and we brought in Darren Eales who has a lot of experience from his time at Spurs and WBA. I have also been really heartened by the number of former players who have encouraged me such as Willie Garner, Joe Harper and Bobby Clark and I also got a call from Sir Alex Ferguson. That was really nice of him. He emphasised that the relationship between the manager and the chairman was critical.
“Paul Sheerin, Barry Robson and Neil Simpson are their own personalities. They thrived being part of Derek’s team, but they all have their own ambitions too. They each bring different qualities and together it means we are in good hands during this process, and I am sure they will put their own stamp on the rest of the season, or however many games they are involved.”