Cobblers chairman Thomas has ‘probably accepted’ boss Wilder will go to Charlton

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
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Chairman Kelvin Thomas admits he has ‘probably accepted’ that manager Chris Wilder, along with his assistant Alan Knill, will be leaving the Cobblers to take over at Charlton Athletic.

The Addicks made an official approach to the Cobblers for Wilder on Monday morning, activating a release clause in his and Knill’s existing Town contracts.

With the fans there will be disappointment, devastation, and all the words and emotions, but I have probably accepted it now, and I will now be looking at the next stage

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas

Wilder will now travel to meet with Charlton owner Roland Duchâtelet and Thomas has told both parties he wants a quick resolution either way, although he is already anticipating he will be looking for a new manager within the week.

“I have spoken to Charlton and Chris, and have said we would like to get it resolved in the next couple of days,” said Thomas, who took over as chairman at Northampton in November.

“They are going to have some discussion, but I think Chris is their main target, so we want to get it done and dusted because we as a club have to know and we have to move on. I think that will happen and then we will start a process.”

If Wilder does decide to leave the Cobblers, Thomas says he is prepared for that scenario, and said: “I have some ideas anyway, I will meet a few people, and we will see what applications come in because this is going to be a very popular job.

“It is a good, stable football club that is going places. We have just won the league by a mile and have a fantastic group of players.

“I have spoken to Rico (Marc Richards) and Dave (Buchanan) about the situation, and they understand it.

“They have been in football for a long time, and there will be disappointment.

“With the fans there will be disappointment, devastation, and all the words and emotions, but I have probably accepted it now, and I will now be looking at the next stage.

“I’ll look into how we continue improving, and I think Rico and Buchs have a similar sort of feeling, and there will be the same sort of feeling among the players.

“This is a special group of players and Chris and Alan have been a part of putting that together, but this group of players is an asset of this football club and that’s what we need to keep strong, and add to and improve on, and challenge next year.”

Charlton will be in league one along with the Cobblers next season following their relegation from the Sky Bet Championship.

The Addicks wrapped up their campaign with a 3-0 home defeat to Burnley on Saturday amid supporters’ protests against owner Duchâtelet.

The manager’s position became available on Saturday evening following the resignation of José Riga, and Charlton have moved quickly to try and get their man.