Port Vale have taken the unusual step of offering Darren Moore a five-and-a-half-year contract to take charge of first team affairs, the club have confirmed.
The 49-year-old was sacked by Championship strugglers Huddersfield Town last month. Reports emerged over the weekend that the Valiants were keen to tempt the ex-Sheffield Wednesday boss straight back into management as they look to avoid the drop into League Two.
The Staffordshire-based club parted company with Andy Crosby a week ago following a run of one win in eight fixtures, leaving the club languishing just above the relegation zone. However, their fortunes haven’t improved and they have picked up one point from their past two outings to slip into the bottom four.
Despite his recent sacking, Moore is still highly rated by many after he guided Sheffield Wednesday to the Championship last season via the League One play-offs, including a stunning comeback win against Peterborough United in the semi-final. The former Premier League defender was delighted to have committed his long-term future to the club:
“When speaking to Carol, Dave and the club’s board, it’s clear that Port Vale FC and I are perfectly aligned with our long-term aspirations both on and off the pitch.
“Our immediate aim is securing the club’s League One status between now and the end of this season whilst putting the foundations in place to create a clear footballing identity.
“The contract is a long-term commitment from both myself and Port Vale FC; it’s a testament to the long-term vision of the club and a vision that weas a collective from myself, the supporters, the club staff and the players are all striving towards.
“I am absolutely delighted to be here and I am thoroughly excited to get going.”
Port Vale FC are delighted to announce the appointment of Darren Moore as the club’s First Team Manager.
— Port Vale FC (@OfficialPVFC) February 13, 2024
Director of Football, David Flitcroft confirmed that Moore was Vale’s first choice, saying:
“We identified Darren as our primary target to come in as our new manager who can galvanise and energise the club. Following extensive conversations, it’s clear to the board that he has a plan of how he wants to lead the club from the very front and understands the importance of successes both on and off the pitch.
“He personifies every quality that we look for as a representative of Port Vale FC as well as possessing the management and leadership qualities that are so highly sought-after in any football club’s manager.
“I firmly believe that the appointment of Darren is an exciting one for the club and I am absolutely delighted to welcome him to Vale Park.”
Port Vale FC’s Co-Owner and Chair, Carol Shanahan OBE, added:
“I am absolutely delighted that Darren is joining us as our First-Team Manager, he was the only manager I wanted and after hearing him speak so passionately about where he sees this club heading, it confirmed what I already suspected in that he will be a great leader for Port Vale.
“His values and aims are aligned with ours as a family and he is the perfect person to help us achieve our immediate and long-term goals.”
Vale travel to an out-of-form Peterborough tonight hoping to secure the points needed to lift them out of the relegation places.
Darren Moore is an excellent appointment for Port Vale and one that can be regarded as a real coup. His time at Huddersfield didn’t work out, although he will have been confident that he could have turned around their situation after only being appointed last September.
Many will feel that the Valiants have taken a gamble by offering such a long contract, although they will feel that he is a manager who can be a long-term success at the club or could attract the attention of teams in the higher division, which would presumably generate a handsome compensation fee.