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Page last updated at 01:33 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Kilmarnock offer manager's job to Jimmy Calderwood

Former Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood
Calderwood left Aberdeen in the summer but wants to return to management

By Jim Spence and John Barnes

Jimmy Calderwood has been offered the manager's job at Kilmarnock despite the club having talked to George Burley, Gordon Chisholm and Tommy McLean.

The Scottish Premier League club had been looking to make an interim appointment following the departure of Jim Jefferies on Monday.

At Calderwood's insistance, he will be in charge until the summer at least should he accept the post.

The former Aberdeen manager will tell the club his decision on Thursday.

But SPL rivals Dundee United, who are seeking a replacement for new Scotland coach Craig Levein, are understood to have also been in touch with Calderwood.

I've held a two-hour meeting with the chairman, Michael Johnston, but I'm still manager of Queen of the South

Queen of the South manager Gordon Chisholm

The news emerging from his interview with Kilmarnock came at the end of a day when three other candidates were thrust into the limelight.

It had been expected that Killie would speak to Burley, the 53-year-old sacked in November after an unsuccessful spell as Scotland manager, later this week.

However, the offer to Calderwood could suggest that the man who enjoyed better times at Ipswich, Southampton and SPL outfit Hearts, and started his managerial career with Killie's neighbours Ayr United, has ruled himself out of the running.

Former Dundee United and Motherwell manager McLean, a league winner with Kilmarnock as a player in 1965, held talks with Rugby Park chairman Michael Johnston but ruled out the possibility of taking charge on an interim basis unless that lasted until the summer.

Meanwhile, First Division Queen of the South gave Chisholm permission to talk to Kilmarnock while hoping that they would not face the prospect of losing their manager and having to negotiate a compensation deal.

On Tuesday, Johnston had said: "Jimmy Calderwood obviously has vast experience in the SPL and he is certainly a candidate that we will have to look closely at.

"We've had calls from Spain, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland obviously. It's obviously hit the news internationally and we are getting calls from all sorts of places we wouldn't have expected."

Johnston says Calderwood is a possibility for the Killie manager's job

The Kilmarnock chairman acknowledged that he might face stiff competition for the best candidate and hinted that six games in three weeks would require a quick appointment.

"Dundee United and Motherwell have vacancies as well, so it is a strange situation to have three clubs out of 12 in the SPL all looking for a new manager," he said.

"In the general financial situation that we are in, along with many other clubs, we certainly would not want to pay compensation if it could be avoided and, if there was compensation due, it would be minimal."

Calderwood, who would probably be keen to take assistant Jimmy Nicholl with him to Rugby Park, is eager to return to management.

"It has been horrible being out of the game and the longer it lasts the worse it gets, so I am willing to talk to anybody," said the 54-year-old, who departed Aberdeen in the summer and was previously in charge of Willem II, Nijmegen and Dunfermline Athletic.

Chisholm, who had a spell as Dundee United manager, was also keen to consider a return to Scotland's top flight.

"It would be silly of me to turn down the opportunity to talk," said the 49-year-old.

"I've held a two-hour meeting with the chairman, Michael Johnston, but I'm still manager of Queen of the South."

Queens chairman David Rae was hopeful that he would not lose Chisholm.

"I have a good relationship with the manager. It would not be right to stand in his way," said Rae.

"I'm just hoping that, once Gordon has spoken to them, he'll remain at Queens.


"Gordon has done wonders for Queen of the South and in him, along with Kenny Brannigan and Billy Dodds, we have the best management team since I took over here eight years ago."

McLean flew back from Malta, where he was on international duty with the Scotland youth squad, to meet Johnston but told him he was only interested in a return to his former club if it is until the end of the season at least.

"I feel the club needs decisive action," said the 62-year-old. "I told him I would be interested if it was to the end of the season at least."

He believed that, with Kilmarnock only two points off the bottom of the SPL, it needs someone with more defined authority than a caretaker manager to revitalise the club.

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see also
Investor out to be Killie saviour
13 Jan 10 |  Kilmarnock
Jefferies insists exit was right
12 Jan 10 |  Kilmarnock
Chick Young's view
12 Jan 10 |  Football
Jefferies exit pleases fans chief
12 Jan 10 |  Kilmarnock
Killie part with boss Jefferies
11 Jan 10 |  Kilmarnock
Burley sacked as Scotland manager
16 Nov 09 |  Internationals

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