Barker favourite for vacant Portsmouth job

In demand. Crawley boss Richie Barker
In demand. Crawley boss Richie Barker

Crawley boss Richie Barker is the front-runner to succeed Guy Whittingham as the next Portsmouth boss.

Whittingham was sacked by Pompey yesterday (Monday) following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Scunthorpe, their fourth defeat on the trot leaving the side perilously near the League 2 drop zone in 18th position.

Currently (Tuesday), Reds boss Barker is favourite to land the job with SkyBet, BetVictor, PaddyPower and StanJames with odds as short as 6/4. Neil Warnock and Martin Allen are also being tipped.

Barker, 38, who was also heavily linked to the Sheffield United job earlier in the season, lives in Hove with his young family.

The two clubs’ recent fortunes have been near mirror opposites, with Crawley earning successive promotions from the Conference to League One, while Portsmouth have gone from a Premiership club to the lower reaches of League Two in a little over three seasons.

Former Bury boss Barker refused to comment on the speculation linking him away from the Broadfield.