RONNIE MOORE returned to Tranmere as manager last night, barely 12 hours after the club parted company with Les Parry.
The experienced Moore, who has been out of the game since leaving Rotherham a year ago, has signed a short-term contract that runs until the end of the season.
A former player, captain, coach and manager at Prenton Park, Moore’s job will be to keep Rovers in League One over the final 13 games of the campaign after they slipped to within a single point of the relegation places.
Moore starts work today in preparing the side for the League One game against Notts County at Prenton Park tomorrow night.
He said: “It’s great to be back, I can’t wait to get started. It’s nice to have the opportunity to keep the club in League One. I’m looking forward to being back at Prenton Park, meeting the players and hopefully starting things off with three points against Notts County.”
Kevin Summer-field and John McMahon will remain in their current roles as assistant manager and first team coach respectively.
Chairman Peter Johnson said: “Parting company with Les was a very difficult decision to make but we have had to act in the best interests of the club.
“I’d like to thank Les for excellent service to the club over many years.
“I am delighted to be able to bring a manager with the experience of Ronnie back to the club until the end of the season. He has a very good track record as a manager at this level and I am confident he will secure our place in the division.
“We have three very important home games coming up against Notts County, Leyton Orient and Preston North End and I urge all of our fans to get behind Ronnie and the players and give them their full support.”
Parry admitted to being disappointed but not surprised after his two-and-a-half year spell as manager of Tranmere was ended in a Sunday morning meeting with the chairman.
A 1-0 defeat at Chesterfield persuaded Johnson a change of manager was required to turn results around.
Parry said: “I have been in the game long enough to know I was on a sticky wicket with the way results had been going.
“I wanted to carry on. I have got us out of this kind of situation on two occasions before. In fact we were in a worse position than this in the previous two seasons and I would like to have done it a third time.
“But this time we were in a poor run and the chairman felt he needed to do something to break the sequence.”
Tranmere have been sliding down the table since mid-October, when they were challenging for a play-off spot with 25 points collected from the first 15 games of the League One campaign.
They have won just once in 18 League games since then and are still awaiting their first victory of 2012.
Parry revealed he had spoken with the chairman last week and urged him to put aside their long-standing friendship in making any decision about the managerial position.
He said: “The chairman and I have a special relationship. It is not the usual chairman/manager thing. I said I know we are friends but when it comes to making decisions, we have to put that friendship aside for the good of the club and not think about what is best for us as individuals. Tranmere Rovers is bigger than both of us.
“I think Peter found the decision particularly hard. Keeping the club in League One is important to him and if that meant ending my time as manager, then it has to be.”
Parry says he will be looking to remain in the game. But the man who spent more than 15 years as Tranmere’s physiotherapist and now boasts a Ph.D. in the field of sports related injuries, would prefer a sports science/medical role that allows him to spend more time with his family.
Parry admitted the relentless workload of the manager’s job, though stimulating and enjoyable, was taking a physical toll.
“To be honest I would like to stay in football,” Parry said. “But ideally I would like the kind of jobs that are few and far between, perhaps heading a sports science team on the staff of a big club. Certainly something that would not commit me to travelling to away games every weekend.
“I have had 22 years of working every weekend and seven days a week and I’ve had my fill of that.”
Parry added: “Now I might be able to see the missus. Elaine has put up with 20 years of me never being at home. I understand what Bill Shankly said about football being more important than life and death and I think you have to take good care of your own life.
“I’ll always be a Tranmere fan and I can only wish the club well for the future. I have the greatest respect personally and professionally for Peter Johnson.”
Parry doubts that he will be tempted to make a return to football management should another club come calling. He doesn’t rule it out entirely. He said: “At the moment it sounds like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. It would be a huge commitment to make. But in football you never say never to anything.”