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Next Gillingham Manager Odds after Stephen Clemence sacking


Gillingham announced the sacking of manager Stephen Clemence on Monday after five months in charge, with the Gills finishing the season 12th in League Two.

Clemence was the third manager of the season - including caretaker Keith Millen’s six-game spell - and finishes his spell with a better win rate of any permanent manager at the club since Justin Edinburgh in 2017.

However just two days after the League Two season came to a close, they opted to make the decision to part ways with the club saying in a statement that “results have not met the expectations set” and that “change is necessary to give the club the best possible chance of gaining promotion next season”.

Gareth Ainsworth is believed to have been interviewed with a view to replacing Clemence in the hotseat at Priestfield, having been overtaken by Kevin Maher in the betting markets last week while Scott Lindsey, Pete Wild and Mark Bonner are also thought to be in the race.

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Next Gillingham Manager Odds

Gillingham have made it clear that they intend to push for promotion from League Two next season, with Clemence deemed not to be the man to lead them there after finishing with 12 wins from his 34 games in charge.

But who else would be considered as better candidates to help secure an exit from the fourth tier of English football?

  • Mark Bonner - 1/3
  • Gareth Ainsworth - 4/1
  • Mark Warburton - 8/1
  • Pete Wild 12/1
  • Kevin Maher - 12/1

Odds correct at time of writing with BetVictor (May 7, 10am)

Leading Candidates to be the Next Gillingham Manager

Let’s take a look at some of the names towards the head of the betting market.

Kevin Maher

Southend boss Maher emerged as the favourite for the Gillingham job briefly last week, with the hierarchy at Priestfield apparently impressed by the work he has done at the Shrimpers in the National League. A former player at the club, Maher returned to Southend in 2021 and amid a host of off-field distractions and penalties, led the club to ninth place this season, albeit a division lower than the Gills.

Given the investment that has gone into Gillingham over the past year and the resources available to the next manager under the current owners, it would be a total change for Maher who has shown himself more than capable of managing a squad on threadbare resources. He was previously linked to the role in OOctober before Clemence was hired and a player with past connections to the club, so it would be no surprise to see him walk through the door this summer.

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Kevin Maher to be next Gillingham manager

Next Gillingham Manager

Gareth Ainsworth

Ainsworth made the brave decision of leaving a safe and successful role he held at Wycombe for 11 years when he moved onto QPR, and it’s fair to say that move didn’t pay off as he left the club in October of last year with his side 23rd in the table and with just five wins to his name.

He remains a popular man in the game, recognised for his more eccentric approach but one that paid dividends while at Wycombe, taking the club into the Championship and then again into the League One play-offs last season. Given his experience with promotions and knowledge of League One, Ainsworth would fit the bill for any ambitious League Two club looking for a long-term plan and promotion but they are likely to face competition for his services with Stevenage also linked to him.

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Gareth Ainsworth to be next Gillingham manager

Next Gillingham Manager

Scott Lindsey

Another man who has already been linked to other managerial roles this summer, Lindsay is another who was actually linked to the Gillingham role earlier in the season when he was ultimately overlooked and Clemence appointed instead.

Lindsey falls into the category of ‘he knows the club’ having played there briefly in the 1990s before going on to hold coaching jobs in the development setup at the club. He has only held senior managerial roles at Swindon and Crawley, leaving the former to eighth in the table before he was poached by the latter and this season leading them into the play-offs on the last day of the season.

Should Crawley go up, it might appear ambitious to try and lure a League One coach away following promotion but should they fail it could appear a good project for both sides.

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Scott Lindsey to be next Gillingham manager

Next Gillingham Manager

Pete Wild

It is no surprise to see Barrow manager Wild linked with other jobs this season, having led the club to eighth and ninth in League Two in the past two seasons - though they were firmly in the play-off spots until an untimely loss of form at the end of the season.

Wild is another who has managed on a shoe-string budget and would undoubtedly enjoy the freedom of being able to operate at Gillingham, and may think he has achieved all he possibly can in his time at Barrow. He has shown in his managerial career that he is a man for the medium to long term, having overseen more than 100 matches at both Oldham and Halifax so he could fit the bill for the Gills owners who are looking for stability.

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Pete Wild to be next Gillingham manager

Next Gillingham Manager

Mark Bonner

Bonner did a good job in his three-year spell at Cambridge, having initially taken on the role at the age of 35 in 2020. He left with the club 18th in the table - they finished 18th even after his dismissal - and was well regarded at the club, with owner Paul Barry describing him as “one of the most important people in the history of Cambridge United”.

Bonner was a long-time employee at the club, climbing up the ranks having first joined the staff as a teenager before progressing to the role assistant head coach under successive managers before getting the main role and leading them to promotion from League Two.

It will be very interesting to see where Bonner ends up next. Is he the real deal or was it just the perfect fit for a guy who knew a club inside out and could hit the ground running? He could be another who would be a good fit for a club with more of a long-term strategy rather than focusing on immediate promotion.

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Mark Bonner to be next Gillingham manager

Next Gillingham Manager

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Will Jackson

Will Jackson

Sports journalist, formerly of PA Media, latterly a PR manager before moving into the content world with the Gambling.com group. Long-suffering Leeds United and Yorkshire fan, 'for my sins'...