Hartlepool United end interest in Paul Cox says report

Paul Cox: Had been favourite for Pools job. Picture courtesy: North-Western Evening Mail
Paul Cox: Had been favourite for Pools job. Picture courtesy: North-Western Evening Mail
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Hartlepool United have ended their interest in Barrow manager, Paul Cox, it has been reported.

BBC Cumbria Sport tweeted this afternoon: 'Hartlepool United withdraw their interest in Paul Cox following a brief meeting with the club earlier today'.

The news comes as no shock given SportMail had already reported that Pools would need to pay what is believed to be a hefty compensation sum should they want to prise the Bluebirds boss away from Holker Street.

Barrow chairman and owner Paul Casson had earlier given Pools permission to speak to Cox while making it clear he hoped he would stay in Cumbria.

Speaking to the North-West Evening Mail in the early morning from his Texas home, Casson said: “We're always happy for Paul to speak to anybody.

"I find it very flattering that people want to talk to our manager.

“If anybody requests permission to speak to anybody, we will always give it. This is not North Korea.

“We sincerely hope that Paul decides to continue as manager of Barrow AFC.”

Earlier in the day Barrow chief executive Austin Straker suggested that any deal for the 45-year-old would be potentially expensive.

Cox is highly rated at Holker Street where he is only a season into a three-year contract. His odds to succeed Dave Jones at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium, had tumbled over the last 24 hours

“There is a compensation clause in his contract, he can't just walk away," Straker told the North-West Evening Mail.

"He came here for a reason and he has been working towards project, which he was buying into.

“We saw an opportunity for him to grow and for the club to grow. My wishes are that we still have him as manager for next season and beyond.”

The former Halifax and Notts Co midfielder led Barrow to seventh in the National League this season, having taken Mansfield Town to the NL title previously.