Oxford United have announced that Chris Wilder has had his contract at the Kassam Stadium terminated, clearing the way for him to become the new manager of the Cobblers.
Wilder is the red-hot favourite to take over as the new boss of Northampton, but confusion has reigned since Saturday evening about Wilder’s position with the Us.
First it was reported after Oxford’s 1-0 win over Torquay that Wilder had resigned, with Us chairman Ian Lenagan speaking live on BBC Radio Oxford to say as much.
But later in the evening Wilder, a former loan player at the Cobblers, released a statement through his agent that he hadn’t resigned, and that he would be continuing in his role as manager at the Kassam.
Now the situation seems to have been cleared up, with Oxford announcing Wilder has left the club, with the Cobblers also announcing a compensation package has been agreed.
Northampton chairman David Cardoza will now talk terms with Wilder about becoming the manager at Sixfields.
A short statement on the Cobblers website, ntfc.co.uk, read: “Northampton Town have been given permission to speak to Chris Wilder about the vacant manager’s position at Sixfields.
“The club have agreed compensation terms with Oxford United and Oxford have confirmed that Wilder has terminated his contract.”
A statement on Oxford United’s website oufc.co.uk read: “Oxford United confirms that manager Chris Wilder has formally tendered termination of his contract which has today been accepted by the board.
“The club can also confirm that a satisfactory compensation package has been agreed with a league two club who are expected to announce Chris as their new manager.”
Oxford chairman Lenagan said: “First and foremost we thank Chris for five years of service at Oxford United. He has worked very hard and helped move the club from the Conference to becoming an established League two side. We are grateful for his efforts on behalf of Oxford but disappointed that he chose not to continue to the end of this season’s journey.
“Today the formalities were completed to allow him to move on. The other club involved have acted professionally throughout the process and the two clubs have agreed a compensation deal that is satisfactory to Oxford United.
“We now move into a new era for Oxford United. The club has already started a thorough, professional search and interview process for the next permanent manager.”
Wilder joined Oxford in December 2008 following a six-month stint as assistant manager at Bury.
He immediately turned around Oxford’s fortunes, taking the club back into the Football League via the Conference play-off final win over York City at Wembley in 2010 at the end of his first full season with the club.
United have since established themselves in Sky Bet League Two.
Wilder began his managerial career at Alfreton Town in 2001 after a long playing career which started at Southampton and concluded at Halifax Town 15 years and 11 clubs later.
He was on loan at Northampton in November, 1998, but only played one game under Ian Atkins in a 1-0 defeat at Colchester United. And he was taken off at half-time in that match, to be replaced at right-back by Ali Gibb.
Wilder returned to Halifax as manager in July 2002 and led the club to the Conference play-off final.
He remained at the Shay for six years before making the move to Bury as Alan Knill’s assistant.