Rotherham United have ended weeks of speculation by confirming that caretaker boss Paul Warne is their new permanent manager.
The Millers made their long-awaited announcement this afternoon, and Warne, who has been in temporary charge since the end of November, has signed a one-year rolling contract.
He will lead the club in League One next season after their relegation from the Championship became a mathematical certainty last weekend.
Warne took over after the reigns of Alan Stubbs and Kenny Jackett had left the Millers six points adrift of safety and impressed chairman Tony Stewart, despite being unable to arrest the club’s run of defeats.
He is expected to appoint his own No 2 who will be someone who has considerable experience of the third tier. Charlton Athletic assistant boss and former Millers player Richie Barker has been linked with the role.
Rotherham considered outside candidates but Warne has long been the favourite to land the full-time position.
Stewart said: “Paul knows the club inside out. He is a Miller through and through. While he has held the title of fitness coach, he has always been much more than that under a succession of managers who have all tapped into his knowledge, motivational skills and coaching ability.
“He may be new to management, but all first-time managers have to start somewhere. Just look at our club as an example of where many of our most successful managers joined at a relatively early point in their managerial career.
“The club have learned many lessons during the campaign but we are determined to ensure, under Paul Warne, that going forward we will play the type of football that brought us so much success in recent seasons.
“In Paul we have someone who understands this club, and also understands the type of players and characters needed to succeed. As such, he will work closely with our head of recruitment, Jamie Johnson, on what will be an improved and in-depth recruitment and scouting operation, which is well under way.”
Forty-three-year-old Warne, who stepped up from fitness coach after Jackett’s exit, is a club legend from his Millers playing days and hugely respected by fans.
But he will have to win over supporters as a manager, with many questioning his credentials after he presided over 19 defeats, three wins and a draw in his 23-match caretaker spell.