Crawley Town have sacked manager Richie Barker, who is now odds on favourite to take the vacant Portsmouth job.
The club have not given a reason why they have dismissed the 38-year-old but it surely has something to do with his links to the Pompey hotseat. Having said that, Crawley are winless in six league games and have struggled to find the net, drawing the last two games 0-0 but it's doubtful this poor run of form has contributed to the sacking.
Barker was installed as the bookies' favourite to become Portsmouth's next manager before the sacking due to his links to Pompey C.E.O Mark Catlin who appointed him as Bury's permanent manager after he was promoted from youth team manager to achieve promotion from League Two in 2011 with the Shakers with eight games of the season remaining, winning six of them.
He kept Bury up the following season before moving to the Red Devils in the summer of 2012, where he also achieved a mid-table finish. Despite Catlin stating that applications for the Pompey job (of which there have been around 90) will have a deadline set for next week, it seems ominous that Barker has been chosen to replace Guy Whittingham.
Earlier today Newport manager Justin Edinburgh stated he was going nowhere, Andy Awford re-stated his desire to return to youth team duties and an application by ex-Pompey boss Michael Appleton for the job was rejected. Paul Tisdale was also another name mentioned but because he is still employed Pompey would have to pay Exeter compensation.
That is now no longer the case with Barker, so expect him to be named the next Portsmouth manager in the near future.