Pilley wants Barton to bring stability to Fleetwood

Andy Pilley
Andy Pilley

The turnover of head coaches at Fleetwood Town in recent years has not pleased chairman Andy Pilley, who says the three-year contract handed to incoming boss Joey Barton shows he is striving for stability.

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The turnover of head coaches at Fleetwood Town in recent years has not pleased chairman Andy Pilley, who says the three-year contract handed to incoming boss Joey Barton shows he is striving for stability.
Only seven men have held the title of Town manager/head coach since Pilley took control of the club in 2003, fuelling the club’s rise from the North West Counties to League One.
However, four of those have occupied the Town dugout in the past three seasons, with Barton set to become Town’s fifth since September 2015.
Pilley’s first three team bosses – Tony Greenwood, Micky Mellon, who this month led Tranmere into the Football League as he did Town six years ago, and Graham Alexander, the newly appointed Salford City boss who steered Fleetwood into League One – were all at Highbury for spells of at least three years.
Since then, Steven Pressley resigned after 10 months and Uwe Rosler was sacked after 19, paving the way for John Sheridan’s 13-game stint in which he safeguarded the club’s League One status.
Now Pilley has gone back to the model of giving young, inexperienced and hungry managers a chance with his appointment of Barton.
He follows in the footsteps of Alexander and Mellon, who were both appointed to their first managerial role at Highbury.
Now Pilley says he wants to restore the stability achieved under those two bosses by having Barton at the helm for a length of time.
Pilley said: “I do believe in stability, hence the length of the contract.
“I think a key ingredient and a key component to success is stability within the infrastructure, especially with a head coach.
“It is massive if you can have someone who stays for a period of time and that is how we like to do it at Fleetwood.”