Club outlines plans for Football Operations
Following the announcement of the future departure of Ross Wilson, Huddersfield Town will now under-go a period of review and change in its Football Operations (incorporating its recruitment and scouting, analysis, sports science and medical activities).
Chairman Dean Hoyle explained:
“When Ross joined us his role was a totally new concept for Huddersfield Town, although it was one that we saw was already well established and crucial at other Championship clubs; they find it a fundamental part of what they do to be successful.
“After so many years out of the Championship, despite work in League 1, we still had a lot of catching up to do in many areas just to get the basics in place. In League 1 we couldn’t afford to modernise and try to catch up as much as we would have liked; in the Championship we couldn’t afford not to. Now we can’t afford to stand still either.
“As a Club, being honest, externally we have suffered from unfair uncertainty and speculation over who was selecting and buying the players and hiring managers, as some supporters and our local media struggled to adjust to something that was new. That has been really frustrating within the Club.
“Its part and parcel of a change to things that have been routine in the Championship for years, but that we hadn’t been used to in League 1.
“When Mark Robins left, it was even reported that a reason for his departure was that ‘he couldn’t succeed in the structure’. There is no doubt external questions over who was pulling the strings has been unsettling and difficult at times, but that will stand us in good stead. We just got on with things because we felt we were doing the right things in the right way.
“Before Ross arrived, we had a handful of regional scouts looking purely at senior domestic players and a part-time Chief Scout looking mainly at the opposition – that was it! Other elements of our football operations were equally straight from the 1970s and 1980s. Analysis was limited, as was our recruitment process. Worse still, at the same time as the Club had been standing still, those above us had moved forward very quickly. These are the hidden consequences of the period out of the Championship that we are still trying to address now.
“Lots of excellent work has been done behind the scenes since promotion to address stagnation and under investment and reverse the impact of so long in League 1. It takes time for this to pay off; there are no quick fixes. Now we need to look at where we take things next.
“Having experienced how Football Operations have developed since 2012, it is a chance to reflect and consider what we need for our model and approach going forward.
“We have an established and settled Football Operations structure and developing Academy that is set up well to do a number of things in terms of recruitment and other football activities.
“We now have to make sure we focus on the areas where we can get the best wins for the Club given the resources we have, what we have learned in the Championship so far, what works for our specific circumstances and what is needed for future success.
“The Club needs to be lean, efficient and effective. We have seen squad numbers fall and off the field staffing is being tightened; this will continue as we cut our cloth and prioritise according to the circumstances we face. We are ambitious to continue to move forward up this division in a sustainable way and I believe by being ‘at it’ in every single thing we do, we can show Championship success is not just about the cash you throw at a club.
“We will now use the opportunity to review our Football Operations with Chris and the other staff and seek to make an appointment to build on what we have and make us equipped for further progress in a way that fits with what the Club is about and what we need going forward.”
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