Hull City are looking for a new manager ahead of the 2019/20 Championship season after Nigel Adkins decided to walk away from the club.
The 54-year-old's contract expires on 30th June and the club were keen to extend his stay on Humberside. But despite agreeing a salary and a budget, it is thought that the Birkenhead born manager rejected a new deal due to 'other contractual terms.'
Adkins had rebuilt his career at the KCOM Stadium following a disastrous spell in charge of Sheffield United in the 2015/16 season. He arrived in December 2017 at a time when the Tigers were really struggling, sitting 20th in the Championship and genuine relegation candidates.
He did enough to keep them up, eventually finishing 18th, and he has managed to build on that in the season just gone. Despite a poor start they ended up with a respectable 13th place finish and there were even times where they threatened a play-off push.
Following his departure, Adkins posted on social media saying: "After much careful consideration I have decided that our futures are not aligned."
So with it now confirmed that the club are looking for a new manager, who will they appoint? We have taken a look at the bookmakers odds to see who the leading candidates are to take over at the KCOM Stadium.
Tony Pennock favourite to become next Hull manager
Bookmakers have the club's current first team coach Tony Pennock as the favourite, with Sky Bet offering odds of 2/1 for him to take charge.
The 48-year-old former goalkeeper has been part of the club's backroom staff since 2017, and has been given plenty of praise for his work behind the scenes at the KCOM.
But he has very limited experience in management with his only previous jobs as a number one coming with Port Talbot Town and Aberystwyth Town. Pennock would therefore be an interesting choice and something of a gamble considering his limited background as a manager.
The odds may be so short because of the fact that he has been appointed as caretaker manager, and with reports suggesting the club have identified a top target who they will make a move for shortly, that would indicate that they have their eyes set on an external appointment.
Appleton, Cowley and McClaren leading candidates
The second favourite to take the job on Humberside is Michael Appleton, who is priced at 9/2 with Sky Bet. He is a man with plenty of experience both in coaching and in management, with his most recent role being as a first team coach for West Brom.
Appleton has had four previous jobs as a first team manager, with varied success. He did well at Portsmouth under difficult circumstances, it was at a time when they had no money and were dropping down the leagues but he still came away from the club with credit for his work. He then managed Blackpool for 12 matches before moving to Blackburn Rovers, but it didn't work out for him at Ewood Park and he was sacked after just two months.
His most recent job was at Oxford United and he did very well with the U's, winning 78 of his 173 matches in charge and guiding them to promotion from League Two and back-to-back EFL Trophy finals.
Danny Cowley is a man that has been linked with Hull City before, and could be in the running again with odds of 5/1 available for him to move to the KCOM. The 40-year-old has done an outstanding job just a few miles down the road with Lincoln City, guiding them to two promotions in three seasons to see them move from the National League up to League One.
The Imps are expected to be amongst the teams at the bottom of the third tier next season, but Cowley may be keen to continue his work with the club having worked so hard to get them there. It could therefore be difficult for Hull to prize him away, plus it would also be expensive with a hefty compensation package likely to be needed.
Another man who's odds to become the next Hull manager are 5/1 is Steve McClaren. He of course was recently relieved of his duties at QPR following a disappointing campaign in the Championship, so unlike Cowley would require no compensation should the Tigers wish to give him the job.
The 58-year-old is a former Hull player having spent six years with the club between 1979 and 1985, but his recent track record in the dugout isn't likely to make their fans excited about his potential appointment. As well as his struggles with QPR, he was also sacked by both Derby County and Newcastle United in recent years meaning his stock is pretty low right now. That said, Adkins was at a low point in his career before joining Hull and doing a good job, could we see a similar scenario with McClaren?
Next Hull City manager odds:
(All odds taken from Sky Bet)
- Tony Pennock - 2/1
- Michael Appleton - 9/2
- Danny Cowley - 5/1
- Steve McClaren - 5/1
- Darren Moore - 8/1
- Simon Grayson - 8/1
- Slavisa Jokanovic - 10/1
- Liam Rosenior - 12/1
- Tony Pulis - 12/1