Darrell Clarke: Port Vale appoint Walsall boss as new manager

Darrell Clarke celebrates a goal for Walsall
Darrell Clarke had more than a year to run on his Walsall contract

Port Vale have appointed Darrell Clarke as their new manager after a compensation deal was agreed with fellow League Two club Walsall.

The former Bristol Rovers boss, 43, has signed a deal until the summer of 2024 and will be assisted by Danny Pugh.

Assistant coach Brian Dutton has been appointed as Walsall head coach until the end of the season.

Vale co-owner and chair Carol Shanahan OBE said they are "over the moon" to get "a manager of Darrell's calibre".

"He has such an impressive CV and his pursuit for excellence and thirst for success matches exactly our ambitions," she added.

Vale last week appointed David Flitcroft as their new director of football, having been without a manager since parting company with John Askey and his assistant Dave Kevan on 4 January.

Clarke left Rovers in December 2019 after four and a half years in charge, which included successive promotions from the National League to League One.

He joined the Saddlers in May 2019 and guided them to a mid-table finish in his first season. He leaves with the club in 11th place in the table.

A short Walsall statement said: "We wish Darrell all the best for the future. Chairman, Leigh Pomlett, will communicate with supporters by video message tomorrow ahead of our game with Cheltenham Town."

'Clarke certainly fits the mould' - Analysis

Lee Blakeman, BBC Radio Stoke sports presenter

The appointment certainly came as a surprise from the Port Vale end of things, following weeks of speculation and rumours.

Lots of names had been linked with the vacancy, including Adam Murray, John McGreal and David Flitcroft - who ended up being appointed as the club's director of football.

Clarke certainly fits the mould of what Vale want going forward, a younger manager who can work with a director of football, and will bring younger players through to the first team.

Fans have welcomed the appointment, especially given Vale have shown ambition by taking him from another League Two club, rather than going for somebody who was out of work.

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC