Hartlepool United snubbed in manager search by former Celtic, Hearts and Bristol City midfielder

Hartlepool United hope to conclude their search for a new manager soon but one man who won’t be taking over at the Suit Direct Stadium is Paul Hartley after he turned down the opportunity to replace Graeme Lee.

By Joe Ramage
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 12:13 pm

Pools have been in the process of looking for a new manager since the beginning of the month after axing Lee ahead of the final League Two game of the season against Colchester United and reports elsewhere this week suggested former Millwall, Hearts, Celtic and Bristol City midfielder Hartley was one of the names they had lined up to fill the vacancy.

Hartley is currently in charge at Scottish side Cove Rangers having guided them to the League One title this season, a second promotion in three seasons at Balmoral Stadium having also earned promotions at both Alloa and Dundee earlier in his management career.

And Hartley, 45, is believed to have held talks with Pools recently according to reports in Scotland but has since declined the opportunity to manage in England instead opting to remain with the now Scottish Championship side.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Cove Rangers manager Paul Hartley is said to have turned down the opportunity to take over at Hartlepool United. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

News of Pools’ pursuit of Hartley being leaked has led to the club issuing a statement expressing their disappointment while also suggesting they hope to conclude their search soon.

“The club are disappointed some initial conversations were leaked to the press but we will continue to work diligently following a defined process to appoint our next manager,” the statement said.

Simon Grayson had been the bookmakers' favourite to take over at the Suit Direct Stadium but the former Leeds United and Sunderland manager has seen his odds drift in recent days.

Meanwhile, another name unlikely to land at Pools is Nathan Rooney. The former Port Vale coach has been linked with a number of jobs of late but recently signed a new deal with Gibraltar Premier Division side Bruno’s Magpies.

Bromley manager Andy Woodman, who was linked with the role prior to Lee’s appointment in December, is the current favourite at the time of writing along with Halifax boss Pete Wild who saw his side lose their National League play-off eliminator tie with Chesterfield this week.