Port Vale have today announced that Neil Aspin has resigned from his role as first team manager.
The 53-year-old was in charge for 15 months at Vale Park but a run of one win in 12 games in League Two has led to his resignation. His final game in charge came on Tuesday night as his side were held to a 0-0 draw against Newport County.
Speaking to the clubs official website after resigning, Aspin said: "To put an end to the constant speculation regarding my future I have decided that in the best interests of Port Vale FC that I must resign with immediate effect.
"Anyone who knows me and who knows my association with the club as a player and now manager will know it is a very difficult decision and one I haven't taken lightly. I inherited a very difficult job with the club staring relegation in the face. I am very proud of the job we did in keeping the club in League Two and we leave the club in a better place on and off the pitch."
He leaves the club in 18th position in League Two and they are seriously looking over their shoulders with Macclesfield Town's strong recent form meaning that they sit just six points above the relegation zone.
The markets are live for who will replace Aspin at the help at Vale Park with John Askey the early favourite to take over. The 54-year-old was sacked by League One outfit Shrewsbury Town in November, but has a long association with the club as his father played for them for nine years and he himself began his career there having grown up in the area. Perhaps for those reasons he has been heavily backed to become the next Port Vale manager with Sky Bet currently offering odds of 1/8 for him to take the reigns. He of course led Macclesfield to promotion from the National League last season, finishing top with 92 points.
Harry Kewell is also thought to be in the running and is second favourite with the bookmakers at 5/1. The Australian has already had a couple of jobs in League Two this season, he started the campaign at Crawley Town before leaving them to join Notts County in August. He didn't last long at Meadow Lane however and was sacked less than three months later after winning just three of his first 14 games in charge.
Both Askey and Kewell have already held talks with the Magpies owner according to Sky Sports, hence why they are way ahead of the rest in the betting. Names such as Kevin Nolan, Darrell Clarke and Gary Bowyer are all also listed, but are way out at 16/1 and 25/1 respectively.
(All odds below from Sky Bet)
- John Askey - 1/8
- Harry Kewell - 5/1
- Kevin Nolan - 16/1
- Graham Westley - 20/1
- Steve Davis - 20/1
- Brian Horton - 25/1
- Danny Pugh - 25/1
- Darrell Clarke - 25/1
- Gary Bowyer - 25/1
- Martin Allen - 25/1
- Paul Heckingbottom - 25/1
- Paul Ince - 25/1
- Steve Evans - 25/1