After nearly four years as manager of Cheltenham Town Michael Duff has today informed the Board of Directors that he wishes to depart the club to pursue a new opportunity.
Since the end of the season the club has received two approaches from other clubs for permission to speak to Michael and one of them has now offered him the position of manager.
“Obviously it’s a disappointing day for Cheltenham Town as Michael has done such a tremendous job for us but he leaves with our very best wishes for the future,” said club chairman David Bloxham.
“Michael made it clear to us that it was a very difficult decision for him. We did all we could to try and keep him at the club but ultimately this new opportunity is one that he feels it right for him at this stage of his career.
“I know it would not have been an easy decision to arrive at because Michael has built up a very special bond with our club and his family all live locally so it will be a big wrench for him to leave but as an ambitious young manager, we completely respect his decision.
“The search for a new manager will begin immediately and we are fortunate in having a strong and very capable football staff who will continue preparations for the new season as normal. Our Director of Football Micky Moore continues to work hard to recruiting new players and the squad will return for pre-season training next week.”
Michael Duff took charge of the Robins in September 2018, his first job in management after working as a coach at Burnley where he previously spent 12 years as a player having made his name in eight successful seasons with Cheltenham Town in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He failed to win any of his first eight matches in charge but the Board knew enough of his qualities to maintain absolute faith in him and it paid off handsomely. The following season the team reached the League Two play-offs where they were beaten in the semi-final by Northampton Town but the 2020-21 campaign, much of which was played behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, proved to be the most successful in the club’s history as the Sky Bet League Two championship was achieved and a memorable FA Cup run ended with a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City but only after Cheltenham Town had led the Premier League giants 1-0 with less than 10 minutes left. Last season the club achieved the highest finishing position in its history by reaching 15th place in League One.