The great Pompey managerial betting race is on

Dave Jones has been installed as the bookies' early favourite to take over at Pompey
Dave Jones has been installed as the bookies' early favourite to take over at Pompey
John-Joe OToole, right, is consoled by team-mate David Buchanan at the final whistle at Fratton Park  Picture: Kirsty Edmonds

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The king is dead – long live the king.

Steve Cotterill yesterday parted company with Pompey after 16 months in charge of the Blues after succeeding Avram Grant as boss.

After Cotterill’s departure, it has taken little time for fans to start speculating on who will be the new man at the helm.

Pubs and clubs were last night awash with talk on who should take the club forward.

Meanwhile, on-line forums and the Pompey Twitter community have been busy throwing out their suggestions on who should be next in line.

Some are realistic contenders. Others are a darn sight wackier.

Local bookies the Betting Room have already drawn up a definitive list of runners and riders for the role.

A name oft-mentioned has already been installed as the early favourite.

But perhaps it’s slightly surprising to see Dave Jones as the leading 6/4 shot to become boss given his past connections with Southampton.

Jones previously operated on a decent budget at Cardiff, but Mark Robins and Sean O’Driscoll are used to operating on tighter constraints.

The pair have been made second and third favourites respectively for the Fratton hot-seat, with Robins priced at 4/1 and O’Driscoll at 5/1.

The current coaching staff feature in the running, with first-team coach Guy Whittingham fourth favourite at 6/1, Stuart Gray 12/1, Academy coach Alan McLoughlin 12/1 and Andy Awford 16/1.

Gordon Strachan and Steve McClaren are both towards the head of the list, with Strachan priced at 8/1 and McClaren 12/1.

With money already spent rebuilding at Pompey this summer, would they be prepared to work on a limited kitty, though?

A young-gun boss is a possible road for Pompey to go down, with MK Dons manager Karl Robinson 12/1 and Huddersfield’s Lee Clark an interesting proposition at 18/1.

Former Forest boss Billy Davies knows the Championship terrain and is also priced at 18/1.

And then there are the quirkier punts on offer.

How about a Fratton return for Robert Prosinecki at 20/1?

It would go down well with the Fratton faithful but Linvoy Primus may be a tad surprised to see himself priced 25/1.

And poor old Barry Harris has drifted significantly.

Originally 100/1 – he’s now a 1000-1 outsider.