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By ESPN Staff

Gradi to step down after 24 years as Crewe boss

Dario Gradi is to leave his post as manager of Crewe after 24 years - and become the League One club's technical director.

Gradi, 65, is the longest-serving boss in the Football League, having taken over at Gresty Road in June 1983, and has been in charge of more than 1,200 games for the Railwaymen.

The move is part of a summer shake-up at the club, which will see Neil Baker continue as assistant manager and academy manager Steve Holland appointed as first-team coach.

A club statement read: 'Dario will be responsible to the board for all the club's football activities, including the first team.

'Steve Holland will play a pivotal role in the training, team selection and management of the first team playing squad.'

Gradi insists the move was decided after talks with chairman John Bowler and insisted it will 'be good for the club'.

Gradi will still be in charge of team selection but intends to hand over to Holland on a gradual basis.

He told the club's official website: 'I didn't want to be a 75-year-old manager working seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.

'That is not healthy for the future of the club. I will probably drop dead doing the job at some point but I wanted to put that day off a bit.

'This is a better way to do things, to introduce this gradual transition because it will take some of the workload off me.

'I'm actually very excited about the situation. I think it will be good for the club and Steve deserves this opportunity.

'We have discussed things with the chairman and we knew eventually that Steve would become closer involved with the first team.

'He will have more responsibility with that but I will still oversee the football side of things.'

Crewe were relegated from the Championship last season but have struggled to mount the expected promotion challenge in League One this term, currently sitting in 13th place with three games remaining.