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CLUB: It's really important to have a club which is structured correctly

More from director of football David Holdsworth

13 September 2018

Continuing our summary of Tuesday morning’s club press conference with director of football David Holdsworth we pick out more of the subjects discussed as he met the local media for the first time.

On the director of football role …

“I’m here to oversee all of the football aspects. If there are other areas I can bring some experience to, and work with the guys inside the club to help to improve, then I’ll assist in any way I can to help to push the club forward.

“I feel it’s really important that we have a club which is structured correctly. We’re all aware of that. I work closely with Nigel [Clibbens] and he is aware of everything I do. He’s vastly experienced and if there’s something I need to ask I know I have his support. It takes time to establish roles, but we’re both clear on what we do and it works well.

“I sat next to Nigel in the car on the way down to Cambridge at the weekend and we went through lots of things. It was good to be able to have that time to go over what the club’s ability and inability with certain things has been over the last few years. Nigel explained to me that Keith [Curle] had a very tight rein on certain areas.

“Obviously one of my roles is looking at the financial implications of bringing players in. The players who come in are John’s players, they aren’t mine. We have a profile of the players we want, as we did with the manager we wanted, because it’s really important that the club has a DNA and an identity.

“I’ve seen situations before where a club brings in players who are overvalued and certainly not worth the money. They have no heart for the job and ultimately you don’t want people like that at the club. We want value for money players and people who wear their heart on their sleeve.

“There are certain players we can’t afford, and there are others we can, so John brings his ideas to me and that’s when we discuss what we’re doing going forward. My job is to make sure that the financial terms when it comes to player recruitment is within the boundaries of our budget. Going forward that will be the case in every decision we make.

“I’m already looking at the half-season loans and contracts we’ve got at the club. We gave out those contracts because we knew what our expenditure might be, and I’m fully aware of where that’s going to put us in January. I won’t wait until the last week of December then suddenly realise we might lose those players, it’s all in hand.

“Establishing a DNA isn’t going to be done overnight. We have to have a club that isn’t fragile, isn’t built on quicksand and we can’t be elaborate with the contracts we give out. I don’t think giving out three or four-year contracts is the way forward these days, so we have to make sure we bring in hungry players who want to do well for this club.

“I think communication is key and I’m very happy to speak to any supporters at any time. We have a budget and we won’t overspend. Whatever that brings in terms of football is down to John Sheridan. He’s known the remit from day one, we’ve always known what we’ve got, and we’re spending it wisely. John has an excellent knowledge of players and he knows the boundaries of what he has to work with.

On his relationship with EWM …

“I work for the football club, I work with the owners and I’ll work with anybody who will help me develop this football club. Structurally I work for the board, I don’t work for anyone else.

“It’s a time of change where we need to change identity and responsibility and for me, whoever the sponsors or owners are, I’ll work diligently and professionally with them. I want to take this club forward and this is the start of the process of building a platform so that the fans can see that the club is run properly.

“My job isn’t to worry about who the sponsor is, that’s at board level. I’ll just make sure we don’t put ourselves into a position financially that we shouldn’t be in. I don’t report directly to Mr Day and I’m not his eyes and ears – no, not at all. I met Mr Day many years ago and I’m aware that he’s a sponsor, but I work for the club. Whoever the finance people are, that doesn’t concern me, I have my own job to do.”


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