Pedro Martins will not be Hull City's next coach, owner Acun Ilicali reveals

Pedro Martins will not be Hull City’s next coach after contract negotiations were abandoned.

The Tigers had led a very high-profile pursuit of the Portuguese coach, who opened talks on Tuesday about taking the job and sat alongside chairman/owner Acun Ilicali at Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic.

But the Turkish television mogul revealed he has been unable to come to an agreement with Martins.

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The first signs that all might not be well came on Thursday when it was announced caretaker coach Andy Dawson would take the pre-match press conference for Sunday's Yorkshire derby at Huddersfield Town.

NO DEAl: Hull City chairman/owner Acun Ilicali and prospective new coach Pedros Martins watch the win over Wigan AthleticNO DEAl: Hull City chairman/owner Acun Ilicali and prospective new coach Pedros Martins watch the win over Wigan Athletic
NO DEAl: Hull City chairman/owner Acun Ilicali and prospective new coach Pedros Martins watch the win over Wigan Athletic

The popular former defender will now be in charge for the match itself, something which had looked unlikely on Wednesday night.

Martins went home to Portugal after the game but was expected to meet the players on Friday having apparently reached a verbal agreement for himself and four coaches to join the ambitious Championship club on three-year contracts, only a change of heart on Thursday evening.

"After extensive discussions with Pedro Martins, we have been unable to reach a mutually agreeable position so we have made the decision to cancel negotiations," said Ilicali in a statement. "Pedro is a great coach but we didn’t feel we were able to meet his demands, so we thank him for his interest in Hull City and wish him all the best for the future.

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"Our team is in very capable hands with club legend Andy Dawson and we are more than happy with the work he and his team have done in the last week.

"The atmosphere in the stadium on Wednesday made it clear to me that we have a very unified club, and the support given to Andy and the players from the fans was amazing to see.

"With all of the above in mind, Andy will remain in charge of the first team until further notice."

Northallerton-born Dawson made nearly 300 appearances for Hull, a club his brother Michael also served with distinction, and was promoted from the academy to first-team coaching staff in the summer.

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Fans have sung his name during both his matches in caretaker charge, both at home. The first was a 2-0 defeat to Luton Town, but in the second the team noticeably responded to the demands he made after that game for hard work and commitment.

Ilicali has invested heavily in the squad over the summer, signing some high-calibre internationals and it was a feather in his cap that Martins - who won consecutive Greek titles in the last three of his four years at Olympiacos before being sacked in August for failing to qualify for the Champions League – was quick to put his name forward for the job.

The result, though, is an unbalanced squad and vice-chairman Tan Kesler admitted in an extensive interview with The Yorkshire Post in August, theirs is an "impatient" ownership.

They also face competition for coaching talent with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Middlesbrough also looking for new managers, and strong rumours in the week that Southampton and West Bromwich Albion could soon be too.

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Ilicali, though, is confident he will be able to attract a good candidate.

"We have been inundated with interest from high-calibre coaches around the world and we will continue to consider all of our options until we find the correct candidate to lead this great club forward," he said. "This is a very important decision for us and not something we want to rush. We are fortunate that the stability Andy and his team brings allows us the time to get this decision right. As I said at the start of our journey together, we will operate with transparency and keep supporters updated throughout this process."

More to follow...