Hartson said it was too early to become a manager
John Hartson has rejected the chance to succeed Gordon Wylde as East Stirlingshire manager.
The Scottish Third Division strugglers wanted the 32-year-old former Wales and Celtic striker to replace Gordon Wylde, who left Firs Park last week.
"I had loads of friends tell me it would be a great challenge for me and I was sorely tempted to accept the offer," Hartson told the Scottish Sun.
"But the timing is just not right for me at the moment."
Hartson said he was not ready to cut his managerial teeth and would have given the same answer had Motherwell or Dunfermline made a similar approach.
Shire owner Spencer Fearn said: "He says he can't accept, but he was very complimentary about the club."
East Stirlingshire sit second bottom of the table as they seek to avoid a sixth successive bottom-place finish.
John Brownlie has been asked to continue as caretaker manager and will be in the dugout for Tuesday's league match against Stranraer.
Fearn said: "John is a good coach with plenty of experience and did a good job against Stenhousemuir on Saturday."
Hartson, who won 51 caps for Wales, announced his retirement last month after being released by West Brom.
The striker who began at Luton and played for Arsenal, West Ham, Wimbledon, Coventry and Celtic, said he was not prepared to end his playing career at a low level.