Russell Martin has left MK Dons to take over as the new Head Coach of Championship outfit Swansea City.
Martin, 35, has signed a 3 year contract at the Liberty Stadium, with the move coming one week before the start of the new EFL season.
Swansea have also confirmed that Martin’s backroom staff Luke Williams, Matt Gill and Dean Thornton will also move from Milton Keynes to South Wales.
The former Norwich City captain was heavily linked with the vacancy at Swansea, with the club having lost previous Head Coach Steve Cooper on July 21st.
An official request to talk to Martin came from the Swans on Friday (30/07), with the timing coming the day before MK Dons were due to open their season with a Carabao Cup tie against Bournemouth.
In a brief statement, MK Dons voiced their disappointment at the timing, though they thanked Martin for his contribution as first team manager since taking over in November 2019.
They said, “Milton Keynes Dons can confirm that Russell Martin has left the Football Club to take up the vacant managerial position at Swansea City, after the Welsh club met the buyout clause in his contract.
“Martin’s coaching team of Luke Williams, Dean Thornton and Matt Gill will also depart Stadium MK.
“It goes without saying that we are extremely disappointed by the timing of this departure. Nevertheless, the Club would like to thank Russell for his contribution and work during his 21 months in charge and wish him, and his team, all the best for the future.”
Martin was appointed as MK Dons manager in November 2019, with the Scot replacing Paul Tisdale in charge for his first job in management. He would win 30 out of 81 games in charge, as well as plaudits for his implementation of a possession-heavy philosophy.
MK Dons will open the season against Bolton next Saturday (07/08), and will take to the field under new management. Martin’s final game in charge saw the Dons suffer a heavy 5-0 defeat by Championship side Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup.
It is the first time where MK Dons have had a manager poached by another club since 2009, when Roberto di Matteo was brought out by West Bromwich Albion after guiding the Dons to the League One play-offs.
In a statement on the official Swansea City website, the Swan’s chief executive Julian Winter voiced his delight at making the move.
He said, “We are delighted with the appointment of Russell as our new head coach.
“When it became clear we would be looking for a new head coach, at the forefront of our thoughts was finding a candidate who was ambitious, driven and with a clear vision of how he wants the team to play.
“After earning plaudits with Milton Keynes Dons for the attractive, attacking style that he implemented, we quickly realised Russell would be the right person to take us forward.
“We were also seeking someone with a passion for working with and developing young players. Russell ticks all those boxes.”
Martin’s first game as Swansea manager will be a season opener against Blackburn Rovers next Saturday.