Alan Burrows explains Aberdeen FC delay in appointing Jimmy Thelin as he reveals 'driving force' behind appointment

Jimmy Thelin -Credit:Alamy Stock Photo
Jimmy Thelin -Credit:Alamy Stock Photo

Aberdeen's chief executive Alan Burrows has revealed that Jimmy Thelin's loyalty to Elfsborg prevented the Dons from bringing their new manager in immediately.

After a prolonged period of negotiations, the Pittodrie club agreed a deal early on Tuesday afternoon that will see the Swedish coach take up the reins in the Granite City on June 3, with Elfsborg' now three games into the 2024 Allsvenskan season. The 46-year-old's last game in charge of the club will come two days earlier in an away fixture against Goteborg, before making the move to Aberdeen, where he will be joined by his Elfsborg assistant coaches Christer Persson and Emir Bajrami.

With the final five Premiership fixtures and a Scottish Cup semi final clash with Celtic fast approaching, Burrow insists that the Reds did everything to try and get Thelin - who was interviewed for the Dons vacancy just over 12 months ago - in the door straight away but respects the Swede's commitment to leave a club where he has spent the last six years on good terms.

Speaking to Red TV, Burrows said: "Jimmy was really keen on the job from the get go and has been trying to find ways to make that happen. Elfsborg were really keen to retain him, with Jimmy having built up a really strong relationship with the board of directors there who have been loyal to him.

"There is a lot of affinity there, so he wanted to leave at a time where it would not be detrimental to Elfsborg. I respect him a lot for that. You always ask for loyalty in football but it's not a commodity that is often shared about.

"He has demonstrated with his behaviour that he is a man of honour and his word. That is how we have landed where we have with him coming in the summer as we had to respect what Elfsborg were trying to do while planning for what happens at Aberdeen next season."

While the process was a long and drawn out one, former Motherwell CEO Burrows also reveals that Dons chairman Dave Cormack was the driving force behind getting a deal for Thelin over the line. He added: "After identifying him, there were a couple of times that we didn't think it was going to be possible at all.

"But with the chairman being the chairman and being adamant that he was going to be the guy for us as our number one target, Dave wasn't prepared to take no for an answer. Between him and Steven Gunn, there was a huge volume of work to get Jimmy to the football club. Hopefully that will bear fruit in the years to come.