Writer: Matt Wilson
Date:Monday June 11 2007
Before the meeting, there was everyone who was anyone in local sports journalism, Radio Humberside; represented by those two sons of fun, Burnsy and Burgess, Look North, HDM, the Press Association and possibly even Sky itself (we spotted the distinctive microphone on the desk).
Adam strolled in just before 12 noon, looking relaxed and tanned accompanied by our new executive chairman, Paul Duffen. Adam then spoke of how the deal had been some 6-9 months in the arranging with the relevant paperwork being completed during the spring. He then introduced Mr Duffen, who was taking control of the club with immediate effect. AP then stated that in the modern game, one-man control of clubs was out of place and needed a traditional board in place to further the club, which needed to move forward under new investment.
Paul Duffen then read out a statement in which he spoke of his delight to be involved with City, and of his admiration of the legacy he had been left after AP's successful 6 years controlling Hull City. He was pleased that AP was staying on in a non-executive role to give advice when required. Mr Duffen said he was aware of the club's history and said he hadn't planned on taking control of City if he didn't believe he could add to it. He believed that Phil Brown is the right man for the job and has his total support. He also stated that he had been involved in the day-to-day running of the club since March, and believes that the club is in a healthy state for the future and that there is a lot going for City, who could be a force to be reckoned with.
He then invited questions from the floor.
Despite David Burns' gentle probing, he wouldn't be drawn on the financial details of the deal, but AP said that he felt he had taken the club as far as he could and that now it was difficult to compete without further investment.
When asked on his attraction to the club, PD spoke of how City were a unique club in the football league and that how he was looking for the best advantage to what he was trying to achieve - in that the best way to get to the Premiership is to start with a Championship club. He spoke of the need for sustained investment to backup his wish for the club to reach the top half of the table. Further investment in the stadium would be further down the line.
AP then spoke of how much of a difficult decision it had been for him to sell the club but the nightmare of possible relegation to league 1 and a massive step back had made up his mind for him. The timing of this was now absolutely right for the club to move on.
PD, when asked what his plans were, stated that making money in football and especially City was a 'reckless ambition' but might move out into the property side of things with the land surrounding the ground which implied to us the creation of a casino or leisure complex. The possible land development also hinted at the possibility that the consortium may opt to try and buy the KC Stadium from the council. He wasn't underestimating the challenge but was expecting a 3 year timescale for his ambitions. He felt that following AP was a massive challenge and had respect for the job that had been done up to now. And that the funds were in place now that weren't before.
Duffen then said how he intended to be at the club full time, 5 days a week, and had no intention of being a part-time executive, arriving in a helicopter etc. ;)
When asked about the SMC, Duffen then stated that he was also taking charge there with his two colleagues in the consortium.
AP said that he had no long terms plans for investing elsewhere but that 'who knows what might happen in the future.'.
When asked on signings, etc., Duffen then teased by saying that there would be some interesting signings in the near future, but wouldn't be drawn on timescales.
AP spoke of how this club was a unique one, with a team of people behind the scenes, the like of which he'd never come across before, and that it was a team that could take the club forwards. He spoke of how everyone had learned a lot in league 2 and then in the Championship, but felt that if the club had gone back down, through the lack of investment, he couldn't have lived with that thought. He praised Peter Taylor for his work, and on the excellent relationship that the pair had had, even to this day, despite the trials of PT's last month at the club.
According to Pearson, the club is now viewed within the Football League as a model club, but the time was right for a change, to a proper boardroom structure, and that it was time for him to stand aside. Adam spoke on how there had been a number of interested parties in taking over the club but felt that Duffen`s consortium was right for the club at this point in time.
Vital Hull always strives to bring you the accurate news first.
Date:Monday June 11 2007
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