Championship side Huddersfield Town poached Danny and Nicky Cowley from Lincoln, saying “there was an obvious chemistry” with the brothers.
Danny and Nicky were appointed as manager and assistant manager respectively after the Terriers triggered a release clause in the contracts of the brothers.
Most Lincoln fans still wanted to thank them for the memories, but it did leave a sour taste for some supporters after Danny implied in an interview last week they were not going anywhere.
According to reports, Danny and Nicky, who earn £140k per year at Lincoln, previously rejected a £1.5 million a year deal to join the Terriers earlier this month.
The Cowleys originally turned down the approach, but the Championship side got their men on Monday, who will replace caretaker boss Mark Hudson.
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What Huddersfield said about the Cowleys
Huddersfield chairman Phil Hodgkinson was delighted to get his men and said in a statement: “I am delighted to be able to welcome Danny and Nicky Cowley to Huddersfield Town.
“From the outset, David Webb and I knew how important this next appointment is for the club. We undertook a very detailed and thorough process to identify the right person to lead the First Team forward, first outlining the qualities we were looking for in the right candidate and then establishing which managers matched them.
“Our research, due diligence and work resulted in a shortlist of four candidates, and Danny Cowley was number one.
“His track record is there for all to see – he has led his previous teams to five promotions and several cup successes – and our character references revealed a man who is one of the most detailed managers around; meticulous in his preparation, and highly regarded by his peers.
“Having approached Lincoln City and gained permission to speak to the Cowleys, they initially decided they wanted to continue the superb job they had done at that club and turned down the opportunity to discuss our job.
“At that stage we could have easily pursued one of the other options we had identified – all of which are fine managers – but David and I felt it was important to try and persuade them to talk to us. We firmly believed that they were the best men to take us forward, and we didn’t want to give up on them.
“Our persistence paid off and when we spoke, there was an obvious chemistry. They believe in the way we operate as a Club and it affirmed that they would be a superb fit for us. As such, I’m delighted that they are joining us.”
“I appreciate that the last few weeks must have felt like a long time to our supporters as they waited for news on our search for a manager, but I believe it was much more important to invest time in getting the right person as opposed to making a quick appointment.
“I would like to thank Mark Hudson, Dean Whitehead and Leigh Bromby for taking charge of the First Team over the last few weeks. Although results have not improved, I believe that Danny and Nicky are taking charge on the back of some really good work on the training pitch.
“Our focus is on winning football matches and we will give Danny and Nicky every support they need.”
Danny and Nicky wrote an open letter to fans about what they described as “without doubt, the hardest decision of our lives”.
The pair, who were appointed at Sincil Bank in May 2016, leave Lincoln having won two promotions and two league titles, as well as enjoying Wembley success in the Checkatrade Trophy and a magic FA Cup run.
Lincoln City have begun the process of appointing a new manager. Jamie McCombe and Andy Warrington will be taking charge of first team affairs with support from Jez George, the club’s Head of Football, until a new management team is appointed.
Lincoln City’s Chairman, Clive Nates, said “Danny and Nicky leave with our best wishes and we sincerely hope they go on to have further success in their careers. We have achieved unprecedented success over the past three years which has allowed us to transform all aspects of the Club ensuring we are in a strong position to continue that progress.”