Stockport County manager Jim Gannon has signed a new two-and-a-half year contract which will keep him at Edgeley Park until May 2019.
Chairman Richard Park said: “Jim has made a huge impact despite being in charge for less than a year. He buys into everything that we’re doing and his achievements to date of bringing some silverware to the club and making progress in both the FA Cup and the FA Trophy have given everyone renewed confidence.
“As a Board we believe Jim is the right man to take County back to the Football League and we look forward to working with him over the coming years to realise our ambitions. We are excited by Jim’s vision for the club’s football infrastructure and he is a figure who can unite our supporters.
“His leadership skills are excellent and he is an outstanding coach, so it would have been both risky and irresponsible not to tie him to the club for a decent length of time. We’re all delighted that Jim Gannon has committed his future to Stockport County.
“The recent positive changes at the club are very welcome, and we’ve overseen a major improvement in the club’s financial situation. Our commitment to having the manager in place for the next two-and-a-half years fits with our long-term strategy. One of the many reasons for the club dropping into non-league football was a lack of stability after the exit from administration – when I joined the Board in 2013, County had been through seven managers in just three years, and that instability resulted in relegation to the National League North.”
Gannon said: “I was pleasantly surprised when the club opened up the possibility of a new contract recently, but I guess after a strong first third to the league campaign and also a positive run to the first round of the FA Cup we’re all beginning to trust that the club is both in a healthy state and a good position to progress.
“The last few months have seen some positive moments which have created a really good feel around the club. However, I am conscious that we have a lot more work to do to ensure that this season is a success and that remains very much the short-term target. But a new contract reinforces what has already begun, which is the planning and preparation for further improvement over the course of this season and into the next. We’re already advanced in plans for a reorganisation of our training schedules and, with the turn of the year rapidly closing in, we’re beginning a review of our playing squad as we prepare to add and build for the future.
“We need to continue getting better and create the best environment possible for players to perform and win matches. We have to put ourselves in a position where we are in contention for promotion, whilst also working hard to ensure that we can continue to be competitive if we do achieve promotion.”
Gannon returned to Stockport County for his third spell in charge last January and has been in charge for a combined total of more than 280 games for the Hatters. As a player he made 480 appearances for the club, scored 64 goals, won two promotions and reached a League Cup semi-final.
He holds a UEFA Pro-Licence and has taken charge of more than 500 games during his career as a manager. He masterminded County’s ‘Great Escape’ in 2006 to keep the Hatters in the Football League against all the odds and went on to secure promotion to League One with victory at Wembley against Rochdale just two years later. He also holds a Football League record for nine consecutive wins as a manager without conceding a goal in 2006/07.
He returned to take charge of the Hatters in January 2016, after reviving the fortunes of Northwich Victoria and taking them to the second round of the FA Cup.