Paul Cook: Wigan Athletic appoint Portsmouth boss as new manager

Paul Cook
Paul Cook won 52 of his 107 games in charge of Portsmouth

Wigan Athletic have appointed Paul Cook as manager on a three-year-contract after agreeing a compensation package with League Two champions Portsmouth.

Cook, 50, had a year left on his deal at Pompey, after promotion in his second full season at Fratton Park.

Portsmouth had offered a lucrative new contract to Cook, but the former Wigan player opted for the relegated Championship club instead.

He replaces interim boss Graham Barrow, who left the Latics on Monday.

"It was only a minute ago at Portsmouth we were winning the league and we really did think our future was going to be there. But the way things have transpired with new ownership coming in that isn't the case," Cook told the Wigan club website.

"The challenge at Wigan is exciting. It's been such a quick transition, it will take a little bit of time to sink in but like every manager I want to get to work right away, get to know the squad, the staff and everything about the club as quickly as we can which will hopefully see us start the season strong."

Pompey have also lost assistant Leam Richardson, after he moved to the DW Stadium with Cook, having worked with him at Accrington Stanley, Chesterfield and Portsmouth.

Wigan's head of medical Mick Rathbone, interim first team coach John Doolan and first-team fitness coach Jimmy Barrow have left the club.

Rebuilding plan for Wigan

Cook's track record of taking clubs forward, as he did with both Chesterfield and Portsmouth, bodes well for Wigan as they seek an immediate second-tier return.

He inherits a squad that came back down to League One just 12 months after promotion, on the back of two managerial departures within the same season.

Gary Caldwell, whose appointment brought the League One title to Wigan after relegation in 2014-15, left in the October and his successor Warren Joyce lasted a further four months with just six wins from 24.

Who will lead Portsmouth after promotion?

Portsmouth promotion
Portsmouth finished top of League Two on 87 points from 46 games under Paul Cook's management

Portsmouth's first steps towards returning to the heights of their Premier League days were realised under Cook's stewardship.

With his departure confirmed, BBC Radio Solent understand former Wolves and Millwall manager Kenny Jackett tops Pompey's shortlist of managers to replace Cook.

But whoever comes in could become part of a new era after the Pompey Supporters Trust voted in favour of a takeover by former Disney chief executive Michael Eisner.

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