Paul Tisdale leaves Exeter City after 12 years in charge of Devon club

Paul Tisdale
Paul Tisdale's final Exeter City game was the League Two play-off final loss to Coventry City on Monday - his 626th game in charge

Paul Tisdale has left Exeter City after 12 years in charge of the club.

The 45-year-old's contract was due to expire in October - two years after Exeter's Supporters' Trust, who own the club, voted to serve notice on him.

He had been the longest-serving boss in English football's top four divisions after Arsene Wenger left Arsenal.

He led City from the Conference to League One with back-to-back promotions from 2008 and to consecutive League Two play-off finals in 2017 and 2018.

Tisdale has been heavily linked with the vacant job at Milton Keynes Dons.

Tisdale lets deadline to sign new deal pass

In a statement Exeter said they had been "negotiating a new, significantly improved, contract with its manager Paul Tisdale for many months, having commenced this process in the middle of 2017".

"Regretfully, Paul has decided not to sign," said chairman Julian Tagg.

"We wish him the best of luck for the future and would like to thank him for his commitment to our club over the last 12 years.

"He has been a dedicated and successful manager, well respected both inside the club and equally so in football generally and ever popular with players, staff and volunteers, having worked so extremely hard to bring Exeter City to where we are today.

"Our offer of a new contract to Paul came with our express desire that he sign it in order to allow the club to plan and go forward with certainty.

"It is, of course, entirely Paul's prerogative that he should choose to let the club's deadline for a decision pass, but we are now at the point where we must move on and unexpectedly plan for a future without Paul as our manager."


BBC Radio Devon's Exeter City commentator Andrew Barge

When he came the club were in an awful lot of difficulty, but with Steve Perryman and Julian Tagg they've steadied the ship and given more respect back to the club.

In recent times there's been a more strained relationship between him and some sections of the fans and some frustration with the Trust ownership model.

But he leaves the club as their most successful manager having guided them to two promotions and four play-off finals.

He has also been fundamental in helping the club earn many millions of pounds through transfer fees thanks to the young players he has blooded, such as Ethan Ampadu and Ollie Watkins.

From Team Bath to Wembley

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Football's most fashionable boss?

He led Team Bath to the first round of the FA Cup in 2002 - the first university side to achieve the feat since 1880 - and won four promotions in seven seasons before joining Exeter in 2006.

An unconventional character, he is well known for his dress sense, often inspired by his close friendship with Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin.

Tactically he has been known for developing good footballing sides, although this season he has seen a switch to a more direct approach.

Having come into a club that was in financial difficulty, he led them to the 2007 Conference play-off final - when they lost to Morecambe - before going one better and beating Cambridge United in the play-offs the following year to end a five-year exile from the English Football League.

A second-place finish earned them promotion to League One 12 months later, where they spent three seasons and achieved a club-best finish of eighth in the third tier in 2011.

So who holds the record now?

The longest-serving manager in England's top four divisions is now Morecambe boss Jim Bentley, who took charge of the Shrimps in May 2011.

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