Yesterday’s announcement of the departure of Mike Phelan from Hull City throws into sharp relief the issues at the club.
The issues are not on field ones, although the Tigers are bottom of the Premier League.
No, it’s right at the very top of the club, those who are supposed to be running the club.
I shan’t mention their names, either the owner or chairman, as they’re well known and I’ve had enough of mentioning them.
It’s becoming all too apparent that they really haven’t a clue on how to run a business like a football club.
Back in the day, Nick Barmby was sacked from the club for asking in the press for more funds for players.
Thankfully Steve Bruce was strong enough to keep the team on course and back into the Premier League before he decided he’d had enough of the daily in-fighting and left on his own terms.
Mike Phelan spent about 80 days as caretaker manager before a similar amount in a permanent role before something tipped the balance and he ‘parted company’ with the club. I suspect the old ‘mutual agreement’ thing might have come into play.
I feel sorry for the guy and am sure he’ll be a good manager for someone. He might even look to Villa Park and rejoin Steve Bruce, which would be good for them.
But I lay the full blame at the chairmans door. There was apparently little money for transfers, despite being in the Premier League. Recent contract negotiations with players over extensions apparently going nowhere as well, offering players a minuscule increase in salary, knowing full well that any other club would consider a reasonable increase as business well done. You can’t really say they have backed the manager as much as many think they should.
It’s obvious they pride themselves on the way they are running matters with no acknowledgement that anyone else’s views and opinions have any validity.
The historical issues over the chairman and owner are well known and now Hull City are being pitied by all reasonable football pundits.
No concessionary tickets offered this season, despite PL rules saying they must; apparent indifference and sometimes outright hostility to the fans; the whole name change issue and more.
They’re hoping to sell the club, and there has been many reports of this group or consortium being involved or interested but none have, up to now, come close to being completed.
You’ve got to ask, what manager would want to take a chance on Hull City, given all this? Would Gary Rowett want to risk his growing reputation at a dysfunctional club like this? What experienced boss would fancy trying to change things round, knowing that a manager the likes of Steve Bruce had to fight, day in and day out?
I have despaired about the way the club is now going in the past but now? Well, I think it’s too late. I fear that within 5 years, the club will back in League 1, and still with the chairman and owner at the helm.
National League within 10 years anyone?