IAN Ferguson has ended speculation over his future as coach at North Queensland Fury by confirming his move to Perth Glory as Dave Mitchell's number two.
The former Rangers hero and Central Coast Mariners number two has been under fire at Fury after rumours of a long-running rift with marquee star Robbie Fowler.
The row came to a head in January when Fergie tried to drop Fowler to the bench and Fowler then refused to play at all.
The financial strife surrounding Fury at the end of the season sealed Fergie's fate, despite having two years left on his three year contract.
Fergie's move west now leaves a coaching vacancy at Fury. Fowler is said to be keen to combine his role in the club as a player/coach but he has no coaching licence.
Former Brisbane Roar coach Frank Farina has also been linked with the job, and could be used as a way to end his legal action over his dismissal from Roar.
However Fury may wish to look elsewhere.
Despite the end of season turmoil however, Fury finished the league in seventh place, only just missing out on a finals spot despite predictions of collecting the wooden spoon.
They won plaudits for grinding out results from a makeshift, injury-plagued squad but Fergie's position seemed untenable since the public falling out with Fowler.
Today though Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell hailed his new deputy and welcomed him to the club's coaching group that also includes former Birmingham City midfielder Kenny Lowe.
"I just think if we want to compete with your Melbournes and Sydneys and be at the right end of the table, we had to boost the coaching staff," Mitchell said today.
"We're going to bolster it and there's certain situations where we can manipulate what we're going to do, where Kenny can work on the defence and we can get Fergie working on the attack and I can work in between and put it all together.
"So there's going to be a real good blend. He was a cult hero at Rangers, he won nine championships so he's a big name in Scottish football."
"He's very passionate, he understands the game, he's got some great contacts as well ... so he's a good friend of mine, a good coach and like I say, great to have him on board."
According to reports, all 16 of North Queensland's players are currently re-negotiating their contracts with FFA.
But Mitchell all but ruled out Glory offering Fowler a position on their roster to replace the departed Daniel McBreen, a situation that would have been unlikely considering the differences Fowler and Ferguson had at the end of this season.
"He's (Fowler) a big name and all that," conceded Mitchell. "I'll talk to Fergie about him and what was his character's like ... and I think certainly from Perth's point of view, it would be great to have him.
"But that's something that we're not thinking of now. We just want to get Fergie on board and there's other targets we're looking at, at the minute."
Ferguson added: "I'm delighted to be heading west. Perth Glory has a proud history and it's wonderful to be joining the club.
"I've known Dave Mitchell for a while and it was a great honour when he asked me to be part of his team for next season."
The club also announced veteran Jamie Harnwell has signed a new deal with the club for 2010/11 season.
Having played 235 games in eleven seasons for the Glory, Harnwell is now set to over-take Bobby Despotovski (241 games) as the club's games record holder.
"It will be a huge thing for me," said Harnwell. "Bobby is a good friend of mine, a fantastic player and if I get the record it will be a real treat.
"I didn't want to end up the way I finished this season. I was very disappointed in how my body went and how we exited the finals.
"I've got some big goals for next season. I want to finish top goal scorer again and try and get a hat-trick of those and obviously win the Hyundai A-League."
Perth Glory also confirmed that Wayne Srhoj had rejected a new deal and will not be with the club next season. He is expected to be unveiled officially at Melbourne Heart soon.