Opinion: Richie Wellens prepares for move to  Salford City

By Alfie Howlett - 5 November 2020


Often when a team achieves promotion their manager has the potential to be nicked from another club in a higher division craving success. 

However, not very often does the manager leave to go to a smaller club in a lower tier. 

But in this case he has. Richie Wellens was confirmed Salford City manager on Wednesday morning - 4 November - after asking to talk to the League 2 club after initially being blocked by Swindon.

After winning League 2 with Swindon last season, Wellens has gone to Salford to attempt the same. The ex Salford player has previously turned down other job opportunities, however it seems that the lucrative draw of working closer to home with an unlimited budget and-ex Manchester United players was too much for Wellens to resist. 

To Richie it was obviously a good career opportunity for him to move to a club that he feels will benefit his managerial CV. 

So can we really begrudge our ex league-winning gaffer? In my opinion we can for one reason. On the 15th of October when asked about the Salford vacancy Wellens replied saying that his loyalty to Swindon should never be put into question. 

This has undoubtedly tainted his legacy at Swindon as well as making his departure even harder to swallow for STFC fans. Wellens will still be remembered as a champion who brought back attractive football to the County Ground, yet he will also be remembered as disloyal and for leaving us at the first sign of trouble.

In my opinion it seemed unsurprising that Wellens left. After winning the league he began to get more and more detached with the club. Swindon's form had dipped after winning just three of their opening 11 games this season, which led to a less than impressed Wellens. 

Richie was also frustrated by the lack of funds and players brought in during the summer transfer window. Which is one problem he won't be worrying about at Salford. I also believe that Wellens was missing fans being in stadiums and I truly believe that if fans were in during the speculation then they might have been able to influence Wellens to stay. 

With Wellens gone Swindon need to enter the market for a new manager. Assistant manager Noel Hunt could be a good shout to get the promotion to number one. 

The former Republic of Ireland striker has previously taken games in the absence of Richie Wellens and done a good job. Hunt also has found himself managing from the sidelines when Wellens is watching the game from the stands. 

If Hunt is the chosen one then it means that the structure of the club won't see much change and a benefit will be that he already knows the players. However, it is a big risk considering this would be Hunt's first job in management. 

Hunt is currently the favourite with bookmakers to be the next Swindon manager. However, second and third in the list are two bosses who have previously managed in the West Country. 

Second is former Exeter manager Paul Tisdale and third is ex Bristol City manager Steve Cotterill. Both managers have good credentials and Cotterill has previously won League one with Bristol City. 

Swindon need to appoint a new manager soon however they shouldn't rush. 

The next appointment is pivotal for Town especially in the current climate. 


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