Barrow boss Paul Cox set for Hartlepool United: Latest

Wanted man: Paul Cox. Picture courtesy North-West Evening Mail
Wanted man: Paul Cox. Picture courtesy North-West Evening Mail

Paul Cox seems extremely close to being named Hartlepool United manager - though it may cost Pools a sum in compensation to land him.

There are conflicting reports today surrounding the future of the Barrow manager, whose odds of becoming the next Pools boss have tumbled to 1-6.

A report in the North-West Evening Mail has quoted a Barrow AFC official saying there have been no approaches from the Northern Gas & Power Stadium, while Sky Sports have just said that the Bluebirds have given Cox permission to speak to Pools.

Clear as mud then.

However, the fact the odds have shortened dramatically suggest that money has been placed on the 45-year-old following information from inside sources.

Cox led Barrow to seventh in the National League this season, having led Mansfield to the NL title previously.

The Nottingham-born former Halifax and Notts Co midfielder still has two seasons of a three-year deal to run at Holker Street and the Cumbrian club would demand compensation before releasing him from his contract.

Barrow chief executive Austin Straker told the North-West Evening Mail he has had no contact regarding Cox leaving the club.

“I'm unaware of any contact from Paul Cox or his agent, and neither is anyone else at the ground,” said Straker.

“There has been no formal contact received at the ground, but we caught wind of the betting sites that were quoting very short odds.

“There is a compensation clause in his contract, he can't just walk away.

"I would be very disappointed if it were to be true – 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.”

That there is conflicting news via Barrow and Sky may be no great shock.

Barrow's owner and chairman is a Texas-based millionaire businessman, Paul Casson, and has probably not been long out of bed given Dallas is five hours behind the UK.

He could well have granted permission without officials at Barrow being aware of the situation.