Welsh FA to hold talks with Rob Page to lead them through to Euro 2024
The Welsh FA will hold talks with Rob Page to lead them through to Euro 2024, according to reports.
Ryan Giggs resigned the Welsh manager post yesterday, opening the door for interim manager Page – who has actually taken charge of more matches than Giggs – to take the post.
Rob Page’s current deal runs until Wales’ World Cup campaign ends, but he is now to be formally offered the top job, according to the Daily Mail.
Page has been in charge of Wales as interim manager since Ryan Giggs’ arrest, including Euro 2020, and will again coach the country at November’s World Cup 2022.
Robert Page has now been in charge for 26 games, compared to Ryan Giggs’ 24.
Ryan Giggs confirmed yesterday that he was stepping down as Wales ‘ manager “with immediate effect”.
Giggs, who was appointed Wales manager in January 2018, decided to stand down after Wales beat Ukraine in their World Cup play-off final in Cardiff two weeks ago.
In a statement announcing the decision, Giggs said: “After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men’s national team with immediate effect.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to manage my country, but it is only right that the Wales FA, the coaching staff and the players prepare for the tournament with certainty, clarification and without speculation around the position of their head coach.
“As has been well publicised, I have pleaded not guilty to the criminal accusations being heard at Manchester Crown Court.
“Whilst I am confident in our judicial process, I had hoped that the case would have been heard earlier to enable me to resume my managerial responsibilities.
“Through nobody’s fault the case has been delayed.
“I do not want the country’s preparations for the World Cup to be affected, destabilised or jeopardised in any way by the continued interest around this case.”
He continued: “I am sad that we cannot continue this journey together because I believe that this extraordinary group will make the country proud at our first World Cup since 1958.
“I would like to thank the chief executive Noel Mooney, his predecessor Jonathan Ford, the board of the FAW, plus the many people behind the scenes who work tirelessly to help our national team and for the support they have given me during this difficult time in my personal life.
“It is my intention to resume my managerial career at a later date and I look forward to watching our national team alongside you in the stands.”
The FAW said in a statement: “The Football Association of Wales acknowledges the personal statement released by Ryan Giggs on 20 June 2022.
“The FAW places on record its gratitude to Ryan Giggs for his tenure as manager of the Cymru Men’s National Team and appreciates the decision he has taken, which is in the best interests of Welsh football.
“The full focus of the FAW and the Cymru Men’s National Team is on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year.”
It was confirmed in September of last year that Ryan Giggs was still earning a salary as Wales manager, despite being on leave since November 2020.
Giggs, 48, was due to stand trial beginning in January at Manchester Crown Court but the case has now likely been delayed until August 8.
The 48-year-old former Manchester United star is accused of controlling and coercive behaviour against his former girlfriend Kate Greville between August 2017 and November 2020.
Giggs is also accused of assaulting Ms Greville, causing her actual bodily harm, and of the common assault of her younger sister, Emma Greville, at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, on November 1, 2020.
He has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all charges. He previously said in a statement: “I have full respect for the due process of law and understand the seriousness of the allegations. I look forward to clearing my name.”
Ryan Giggs’ trial was delayed due to the pandemic.
In January, Judge Hilary Manley explained: “Unfortunately it has become necessary to vacate this trial from the list.
“The reason for this is because there is not a court available to accommodate this trial. Due to the large backlog of court cases which has been exacerbated by the pandemic and the need for social distancing, this is a situation which is a daily reality for the criminal courts.”
Chris Daw QC, representing Giggs, said: “I have of course explained the situation to him and he is extremely disappointed at the development.
“He is grateful efforts have been made to fix the earliest possible new date.”
Giggs, who won 64 Wales caps as a player, succeeded the popular Chris Coleman as manager.
He had to win over many supporters who had questioned his commitment to the Wales cause during a stellar career at Old Trafford.
But Giggs managed that as Wales – fired by the brilliance of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey – qualified for Euro 2020, their second successive European Championship finals.
However, Euro 2020 was delayed by 12 months because of coronavirus and Page, who Giggs had appointed as his assistant in August 2019, ended up taking Wales to the finals last summer.
Page built on that work by steering Wales to second place behind Belgium in their 2020 World Cup qualification group.
Victories over Austria and Ukraine then secured Wales’ place at a World Cup for the first time since reaching the quarter-finals in Sweden in 1958.
Page revealed recently that his contract runs for as long as Wales are in the World Cup, and Bale endorsed the former Northampton and Port Vale boss before this month’s Nations League game against Belgium.
Bale said: “I think he is the long-term manager. I don’t think there is any question in the changing room or from the fans.
“He’s done an incredible job coming in, in difficult circumstances. Everyone with him has a great relationship.
“I guess that’s why you achieve big things when your team is happy and your manager is doing well.”
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Ryan Giggs has taken flak over the years for not turning up for Wales friendlies but I’ve always blamed Alex Ferguson for that. In resigning, Ryan has done the best thing he possibly could do for his country to head off the inevitable filth stirring by the anti Welsh media which would have been an unsettling distraction for everyone in the camp so hats off to his wisdom.