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15 August 2014

The Chairman's interview with BBC Radio Leeds

Huddersfield Town Chairman Dean Hoyle conducted a typically honest and forthright interview with BBC Radio Leeds on Tuesday evening after a weekend that saw Manager Mark Robins depart the Club by mutual consent. will now bring you the second of two parts of this interview, starting with the first eight minutes today.

To read the first part, click HERE.
To listen to the full interview, click HERE.

The next topic was the role that a minority of Town fans had in the departure of Mark Robins from the Club:

“I backed Mark Robins to be the Manager of this football club and I tried to give him time. If you listen to all the punters and all the experts, they say you have to give your Manager time. The fans at Huddersfield Town – and it might be the minority, but they are always the most vocal – made Mark’s mind up to part company with Huddersfield Town football club. 

“Let’s be fair – Radi Majewski, the player we’ve just got from Nottingham Forest, actually thought he was getting booed when getting substituted on Saturday. He was gutted; I think he was in tears in the dressing room. He didn’t understand it, as he thought he’d played well. He didn’t realise the fans were booing Mark Robins’ decision to take him off. This is what we’re up against – this is football.

“Social media is an absolute nightmare. As is the case on all internet forums, it’s always the minority that is the most vocal. They have direct contact with us through electronic communications and its always those people that never turn up.

“I go to a load of fans’ forums and people always ask me questions. I tell people they can ask me whatever they want and I’ll give them an honest answer. These people (the vocal minority) never turn up to those as they won’t meet you face to face. 

“At the end of the day, what we need is positivity. There’s lots to be positive about. Look where we’ve come from. We’re the only football club in West Yorkshire that has a stake in its own ground. That took a long time, but we’re the only football club that’s done it; Bradford City are tenants and Leeds United, at this moment in time, are tenants. We’re the only football club in West Yorkshire that owns its own training ground. It’s not a bad platform and that’s what we need to be positive about. We’ll get things right and move forward – that’s my view.”

Dean then responded to a question regarding whether Town’s transfer spending could the Club them compete at the top of the Championship.

“We can never be competitive at the top of the Championship (on transfer spending in financial terms) when I’m in charge. That’s for two reasons; I don’t want to put all my money into the football club, which I’ve consistently said all along, and secondly we don’t have the financial clout within the Club to do that. 

“I’m also not prepared to break Financial Fair Play rules and I’m not prepared to put the Club into debt. It took 10 years to get this club on an even keel after Administration and we still feel the effects now – we have lost income streams that had to be signed off in the Administration. I’m not prepared to go down that route.

“People may say that I’ve taken this club as far as it can go. If people say that to me, I have a tough choice to make. If that’s what the fans think, fantastic – but don’t always think the grass is greener on the other side. If that’s what they want, it’s no problem – I’ll go. 

“I don’t want to go – I want to make this Club successful and whilst I have the support of the fans, I will do my upmost to do that. At this moment in time, you have got to question (that).” 

The interviewer cited the fee AFC Bournemouth reportedly spent on striker Callum Wilson as an example of spending in the Championship, to which Dean responded:

“If you look at the facts, it’s quite simple. Do you know how money Bournemouth lost in the season they got promoted from League 1 to the Championship? Since then, they have accelerated their spending and it was £15 million in one season. If you want me to take that approach, it’s not going to happen – and it’s going to be very difficult to get someone in who will (take that approach). 

“That’s not the way I want to do it, which I’ve always been honest about. We are a buying and selling club and we need to make profit on players to keep the Club sustainable. We run on a very competitive budget. 

“At the moment the issue we have got is that the players and squad are underperforming. That’s not to say we have a complement of players we’re happy with – we identified players this summer that Mark (Robins) decided he didn’t want; we could have signed lots more players. We’re short in certain positions – we’re aware of that – but Mark always said he wasn’t prepared to bring the players in until he was 100% happy with the ones he could find to bring to Huddersfield Town that would keep us within the Financial Fair Play rules. That’s the way we’re going to play it. 

“Can I accept the criticism? No I can’t. I think the money I have put into the Club is very good actually; it’s cost me a lot, but I think we have a fantastic platform. Like I’ve said, if people don’t want me there (that’s) fantastic. If they tell me, I will move on and I’ll make sure that – hopefully – the Club goes to the right people. 

“That’s football isn’t it – you cannot please everybody.”

Back on the subject of what Hoyle is looking for in the next permanent manager, the Chairman responded:

“We want somebody tried and tested, but I’m not going to say which division they will come from. We want somebody who is a leader of men; somebody who can motivate and inspire with tactical nous and a good footballing style of play. Maybe we need to crank up the style of play from a pure passing team, but we’re not going to go ‘long ball’. 

“It will be an external appointment. We’ll consider all the options. There is still money from the budget to spend when the new manager comes in. I’m fully supportive and I want to give the new manager time.

“We didn’t expect Mark to say what he said to us, so we have been ‘caught with our pants down’. However, we are where we are and we have to be positive in order to get things right. 

“We’ve had some very good applicants come forward and the interview process will start very shortly. We’d love to be in the position to make an announcement very shortly. 

“If people think this is a reason for me not to spend money that is absolutely bonkers. Look at my tract record – I’ve probably spent more on transfers than any other Chairman at this Club. At the same time, we have to make sure the players that come in are the right players at the right value and that they want to play for Huddersfield Town for the right reasons.

“We’ve got to get it right. I want a Manager to come in who I can be absolutely supportive of and see a long-term plan through. I wanted that with Mark, but it hasn’t worked out. The key point is though that we didn’t sack him.”

When asked what his aim for the 2014/15 season was, Dean gave a measured reply:

“This is an interesting one. Like in life, I’ve always taken the approach at the football club that honesty is the best policy – I’ve told people my views and where we want to go. 

“But when things don’t go quite right, the vocal minority throw it back at you: ‘you said that and this’. We’re not all perfect and we do make mistakes.

“What I would say is we want to finish as high as possible and we don’t want to be around the bottom (of the table). 

“That’s my view. I’m not prepared to say where we want to finish, although I know in my head. If I say we want to finish 1st, 15th or 20th, I’m coming to realise very quickly that people will hold it against me. 

“I want to be as open and honest with fans as possible, but actually it’s backfiring a little bit. Maybe we’ll have a little bit of a different approach for the foreseeable future.”

The final topic was on Dean’s long-term commitment to Town, to which he responded:

“That depends on whether the fans fall out of love with me – it’s as simple as that. I don’t want to be around somewhere I’m not wanted. 

“It will come down to this. The next manager who comes in will be the Board’s choice and if the fans don’t get behind the next manager that will tell me a lot about the way I need to take the Club forward.

“If they want me on board, they will really have to get behind the guy. It’s their choice, because it’s their Club. At the same time, everyone needs a leader. I try and lead the Club in the direction I do and I don’t always get it right, but I’m an honest kind of guy. It will tell me a lot how the fans react to the next manager.”

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