The reason why Phil Brown’s return to Hartlepool Utd as manager collapsed

Phil Brown
Phil Brown

THE collapse of Phil Brown’s proposed return to Hartlepool United as manager had nothing to do with demands regarding his backroom staff, writes CRAIG HOPE.

Likewise, Pools did not insist on the make-up of Brown’s support team, which was set to consist of Brian Horton and goalkeeping coach Fred Barber.

There had been some suggestion yesterday that Micky Barron’s continued involvement with the first team had been the reason behind the snag which saw negotiations break down.

However, we can reveal that both Brown and Pools have made it clear to SportMail that this was not the case.

Brown walked away from talks with the Pools hierarchy yesterday afternoon over an issue regarding a clause in his contract.

Neither party were willing to budge on their expectations and so the deal to install Brown as boss fell through.

But Barron - who has conducted himself with dignity throughout his caretaker tenure since stepping in for Neale Cooper – was never the subject of any disagreement.

The 37-year-old will now assist new boss John Hughes and continue in his role as reserve-team coach.

Brown, meanwhile, will resume his search for a return to football management.

The 53-year-old had been certain that he would be in the Victoria Park dugout for this weekend’s visit of Coventry City and, as late as yesterday afternoon, had hoped that would be the case.

However, it will be Hughes who is unveiled to the home crowd before that match as Pools bid to narrow their nine-point deficit from safety.