PAUL COOK HAS rejected advances from Scottish side St Johnstone in order to stay out west as manager of Sligo Rovers, the club confirmed this morning.
The Liverpudlian’s move to the SPL appeared to be a mere formality yesterday after the two clubs agreed a compensation package and the Saints opened negotiations with Cook.
Bookmakers had shortened the odds on a move to as little as 1/8 in places, but the Perth club will have to continue their search after Cook turned down their offer in favour of staying in the League of Ireland.
“Paul Cook will be staying in charge of Sligo Rovers,” this morning’s statement said.
After giving permission to speak to Scottish Premier League side St Johnstone in recent days, Cook will stay in charge at The Showgrounds and we look forward to final matches of the season.
The club would like to thank supporters for their patience over the issue amid the speculation.
St Johnstone have been without a permanent manager since Derek McInnes’ departure for Bristol City last week.
It is understood that McInnes had recommended Cook, a former team-mate of his at Stockport County, as his ideal replacement. But the Saints conceded this morning that they will have to look elsewhere for their new boss.
“The club’s search for a replacement manager continues today but it does not appear that the successor to Derek McInnes will be Paul Cook,” a statement said.
“The current manager of Sligo Rovers has been in highly-publicised talks with St Johnstone about the vacant post but the two parties have been unable to reach agreement on personal terms and the club therefore moves on to other options.
“Alec Cleland and Jody Morris continue to be in temporary charge of the team as the squad prepares for Saturday’s game against St Mirren at McDiarmid Park.”