Gillingham: Andy Hessenthaler leaves director of football post

Andy Hessenthaler has left his position as director of football at Gillingham with a view to returning to management.

The 47-year-old had been in the role since last May following a two-year spell in the dugout with the side, who were recently promoted to League One.

Gills chairman Paul Scally revealed in a statement he had refused Hessenthaler permission to speak to other clubs over the course of this season.

Scally added he had now "reluctantly agreed" to end Hessenthaler's contract.

Continue reading the main story

I have long been conscious of Andy's desire to return to the training ground in coaching or management capacities

Paul Scally Gillingham chairman

Hessenthaler stood down as Gillingham manager at the end of last season after he failed to make the League Two play-offs following two seasons in charge.

Despite accepting the position of director of football, he spoke of his desire to return to management.

Hessenthaler's replacement, Martin Allen, guided the Gills to the League Two title this season but Scally hailed Hessenthaler's part in that success.

"Andy has made a huge contribution to this football club over the past years, and played a major role in the club achieving the success of this season past," Scally said.

"He worked tirelessly behind the scenes in assisting myself and the team management with a fantastic championship-winning promotion to League One.

"I have long been conscious of Andy's desire to return to the training ground in coaching or management capacities.

"Having refused him permission over the past few months in speaking to other clubs interested in employing him, I have reluctantly agreed to terminate his contract with the club to allow him to explore these opportunities, and return to football management.

"I know I speak for everyone connected to Gillingham Football Club when I wish him every success in the future."