He joins the League Two side following a spell as boss at Falkirk. He will work full-time for the Highland League champions, who are now an SPFL side.
Even at League Two level, this is a poor appointment.
Hartley does more bad than good on paper for Cove Rangers
Ask a Hearts or a Celtic fan what they think of Hartley as a player. They’ll probably tell you he was a technically gifted footballer who could produce a moment of magic that could change games in an instant, with a quick pass or long-range effort.
Ask a Dundee or Falkirk fan what they think of him as a manager. They’ll definitely tell you he was a pretty terrible boss who clearly has no clue how to sign a decent footballer.
He done well at Alloa during his first stint as a boss, but he’s never been able to replicate that anywhere. He’s been truly horrific at the Dee and Falkirk, only bringing in a handful of decent players at both, with many more terrible ones.
His worst job was done at Falkirk. His terrible spell left the Bairns in the mire, contributing to their relegation to League One.
Cove have appointed him as a full-time manager, in League Two. They are an ambitious club, but surely appointing someone who has been the definition of disaster at two of the three clubs he’s managed full-time will drain finances?
Surely he can do a job? Cove clearly have money to throw about if they can get Hartley down full-time. He’s a big name at League Two level yes, but there’s a reason why he’s been out of work for nearly a year. Plus his confidence will be on the ropes after his recent managerial stints.
It’s a statement of intent hiring him full-time, but Hartley still isn’t a great appointment for Cove, even at League Two level.