After 19 months in charge of Bradford City, veteran coach Mark Hughes was dismissed from his role on October 5. Hughes helped the team reach the League Two promotion play-offs last term – where they were eliminated in the semi-finals – but the Bantams started the 2023/24 league campaign with three wins, four draws and four losses.
This puts Bradford City in 18th place in the league standings, and although they are six points away from the relegation zone, it is clear that changes are needed at Valley Parade. Kevin McDonald will act as player-caretaker in the meantime while the next Bradford City manager odds have already gone up.
Bradford City Next Manager Betting List
Leam Richardson, who last worked with Wigan Athletic in the Championship, tops the Bradford City next manager odds. The full list includes other young, ambitious coaches who already have experience in the lower leagues.
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It is important to note that in their statement announcing Mark Hughes’ departure, Bradford City confirmed that the search for a new manager was already underway, although they expectedly did not reveal any names. At the moment of writing, there are no concrete rumours in the media either, but the bookmakers see Leam Richardson as the top candidate to become the next Bradford City manager.
Richardson has been in the coaching game for over ten years now, starting as a player-caretaker at Accrington Stanley and then being invited as a permanent coach for 2012/13. He also worked as an assistant at Portsmouth, Chesterfield and Wigan Athletic, and in 2020, he was appointed as head coach by the Latics.
In charge of Wigan, Richardson won the 2021/22 EFL League One and was named manager of the season. However, he lasted only for a few months in the EFL Championship and was sacked in November 2022. Richardson has been out of work since then, but his past achievements and tactical prowess make him a strong candidate for the job.
Similar to Leam Richardson, Danny Cowley has been unemployed for the past months as his last job was with Portsmouth in League One. Cowley was in charge of Pompey for almost two years, with Portsmouth finishing 10th in his first season in charge and being placed 12th at the time of his departure.
His previous jobs include coaching Huddersfield Town in the EFL Championship, who he helped avoid relegation and where he was named manager of the month in October 2019. Prior, the 44-year-old Englishman worked with Lincoln City between 2016 and 2019, which remains his best work to this day.
He started with the Imps in the National League, the fifth tier in the English football pyramid, and took them all the way to the third tier after winning the National League in 2016/17 and League Two in 2018/19. He also made Lincoln the first non-league club to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals in the last 100 years. It remains to be seen if Cowley is ready to return to League Two or if he has higher ambitions.
Karl Robinson is also available for instant hire, as his last job as an assistant coach to Sam Allardyce at Leeds United was short-lived. The duo left the Premier League side by mutual consent after failing to save them from relegation.
Before arriving at Elland Road, though, Robinson worked as the head coach at Oxford United, Charlton Athletic and Milton Keynes Dons across various levels of English football. He started his coaching career at MK Dons back in 2010 at the age of 29, making him the youngest manager in England league football at the time.
His top achievements include winning promotion with MK Dons to the EFL Championship for the first time ever, although they would last in the second tier for only one season. Young, energetic and innovative, Robinson has all the skills to turn the season around at Valley Parade.
Unlike the previous names on the list of next Bradford City manager odds, Pete Wild is currently employed as he has been coaching Barrow in League Two since 2022.
The Bluebirds finished in 9th place last season and currently sit 10th in the league table, which would suggest that Wild’s job safety is not an issue for now. So, unless for a big economic proposal, it is hard to see why the 39-year-old would leave Barrow in favour of Bradford City.
Curiously, the Bantams were interested in appointing Pete Wild before. In February 2022 when the club was in search of a new coach, Wild was one of the names they reportedly considered alongside Mark Hughes. Nevertheless, the 39-year-old finished the season with Halifax Town in the National League and only then moved to Barrow.
Wild may not be the most experienced manager on the list as, aside from Barrow, he never coached above the fifth-tier level.
Mike Williamson won’t be available for instant hire either. Currently coaching Gateshead in the National League, his team sits fourth in the league table and is a strong contender to qualify for promotion play-offs at the end of the season.
Gateshead has so far been the only job on Williamson’s CV. He started as a player-coach in 2019 and continues to combine the two roles to this day, although he only made five appearances last season.
More focused on the coaching aspect, the 39-year-old has achieved impressive results with Gateshead. In 2021/22, he won the National League North and achieved promotion to the fifth tier while being named manager of the year.
Williamson’s tactical flexibility and attack-oriented approach may be exactly what Bradford City need at the moment, although it would take some convincing to see him at Parade Valley.