Chief executive Nigel Clibbens spoke at Friday afternoon’s press conference about the pending departure of manager Keith Curle, as revealed by the club in an official statement on Thursday afternoon.
“It’s something which has been talked about for a long time and these things are never easy,” he said. “Decisions like this are never taken lightly, and I think it’s testament to the esteem that Keith is held in with how it has all been handled now that it’s come to an end.
“It has been very difficult, but as one chapter closes we then start looking ahead to the next chapter for the club.”
“Keith has done a good job here, so these aren’t usual circumstances,” he added. “Usually, when a manager is leaving, it’s because they’re retiring, like Arsene Wenger may do, or they haven’t done a good job, or they’re moving on to better things. We’re in a pretty unique situation, and it certainly isn’t one I’ve experienced before.
“The relationships behind the scenes with Keith, the staff, the directors and the owners are all excellent, and its testament to all of that that we can end the season this way, which is good for everybody.”
On the manager staying in post for the games against Port Vale and Newport County, he commented: “We want the fans to have an opportunity to thank Keith for the job that he’s done. I think that’s important.
“As a club we will also use that opportunity to show how good the feelings are towards him. We had a staff meeting, with everybody at the club present, which was well received, and I think it’s about doing things right.
“Keith will be at the awards night with the staff which will be a celebration and a night to remember for everybody.”
“The time is right for both parties to part company and move on,” he added. “Keith has been here for almost three years and we’ve come so far with him, but I think for his career and for him to renew what he wants to do, as well as the club moving forward, I think the timing is right.
“We’ve had three full seasons and three cracks at this. The squad needs to be reinvigorated, therefore there is lots to do and it’s the right time for a new person to come in and build on what has been left behind.”
“The process will now be a case of collecting applications and compiling a long list, before we look at a short-list,” he explained. “We will then do interviews. Nobody will be head hunted or specifically targeted. Most people who are interested in the job will put their name forward very quickly, we’ve had lots of interest already, and usually within seven days anybody who is interested will have put themselves forward.
“I would expect we would then put together our long list towards the middle of next week, before narrowing it down towards the end of that week. We’ll then start the interviews and see where it goes after that. The interviews will also take in to account the Rooney Rule.
“We know that there is a need, for all kinds of reasons, to do it quickly. I’ll certainly be doing my best to make sure that happens. We will take a measured approach to the appointment, but you can still take a measured approach reasonably quickly.
“The people who are interested will throw their hats in the ring very quickly, and we will try and deal with them very quickly. That’s the objective, because we’ve got a new season to plan for.
“We know there are people who will wait and see what happens before renewing season tickets and I can understand their approach. We value their support and we will be doing our best to give them an appointment which takes the club forward and gets them excited.”
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