Terry Butcher has opted to remain as the Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager and last night turned down the advances of npower Championship strugglers Barnsley.
Inverness had granted permission for the 54-year-old former England captain to meet the Tykes on Monday but he informed his club of his decision to stay with them last night.
Butcher becomes the second manager to turn down Barnsley since they sacked Keith Hill at the end of December, with Sean O’Driscoll having opted against taking the job on Sunday.
“I was pleased that Caley Thistle gave me the opportunity to talk to Barnsley, who were excellent to deal with,” Butcher told Inverness’ official website.
“But I have decided that my future lies at Inverness. We have been going extremely well to be second in the SPL, still in the Scottish Cup and with a League Cup semi-final to look forward to later this month.”
The news that Butcher is staying will be of great relief to Caledonian Thistle’s supporters, who have seen the former Brentford and Sydney FC manager take them up the Scottish leagues.
They are currently Celtic’s nearest challengers in the title race, albeit by nine points, and European football could be on the cards later this year.
“We’re delighted that Terry Butcher is to remain with us and the fans will greatly welcome the news,” said chairman Kenny Cameron.
“When Barnsley made their approach we felt that out of courtesy we should allow Terry the opportunity to meet with them. But it is a huge relief that he has opted to stay.
“These are exciting times at this club under the management of Terry and Maurice Malpas and we now look forward to maintaining what has been a wonderful season.”
Butcher, who won 77 caps for England in a ten-year international playing career, took the Inverness job in January 2009, replacing Craig Brewster.
Although he failed to keep the club in the Premier League that season, he led them to the First Division title the following year and maintained an unbeaten away run throughout 2010 on their return to the SPL. They take on Hearts in the semi-finals of the Scottish League Cup later this month.
Inverness, who have only lost against Motherwell and Celtic this season – and only three times in 21 league games – are still in the William Hill Scottish Cup and are top scorers in the Clydesdale Premier League so far with 44 goals.
David Flitcroft, Hill’s former assistant, is currently in charge of Barnsley, who next host Leeds in the Championship.
They are currently bottom, four points shy of safety, and yesterday sold nine-goal Craig Davies to Bolton.
Flitcroft, former Sheffield Wednesday manager Gary Megson and ex-captain Neil Redfearn, currently the academy coach at Leeds, are the new favourites for the job.