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The Camden Cad
Aug 24, 2004
North London
The sacking of a manager is usually a euphoric release for a struggling club’s fan base, but the only people who seem to be pleased about yesterday’s cruel dismissal of Phil Brown are Arsenal supporters. Still miffed about Brown’s involvement in ‘SpitGate’, they’re delighted to see the back of him. Hull City fans, by contrast, are more than a little bit confused.

Undeniably the greatest manager in the club’s history, surely he deserved a chance to secure a third season of Premier League football? After all, it wasn’t as if they had a particularly punishing run-in. Their commitments to the Big Three have all been met, vital clashes with Portsmouth and Burnley await, and it’s not as if you can’t see them beating at least one of Fulham, Sunderland or Birmingham. Escape from the drop-zone was a realistic ambition.

But even if they did go down, why should it cost him his job anyway? This is Hull City we’re talking about. Their fans are fantastic, but their books are in a terrible state. They’ve got no money and serious debts. No-one expected them to survive one season in the Premier League, let alone two or three. When I first saw Brown’s Hull in 2006, they were scrapping away in the relegation zone of the second flight with my own Southend United. Brown was only the coach at the time, but within two months he found himself in the hot-seat full-time. Within 18 months he had taken the Tigers to the Premier League. Then he kept them up there. By anyone’s standards, that’s an incredible turnaround in fortunes for a club who have no history of success. To sack him after all of that isn’t just stupid, it’s an act of gross ingratitude.

Quite what Adam Pearson hopes to achieve is anyone’s guess. Who exactly does he think will have a better chance of avoiding relegation? It would take a desperate man to grab the reins at this late stage of the season. You can forget about big names like Mark Hughes, he’d run a mile from this. Alan Curbishley would be unwise to risk his reputation as a solid mid-table manager on such a heavily indebted football club. The only reward for keeping them up would be sweeping cuts in the summer.

So who does that leave? Paul Jewell? That didn’t work out for Derby. Gary Megson? No Hull fan wants that. Steve Coppell? Not a chance. Gareth Southgate? After Middlesbrough went down with all hands? I wouldn’t. Pearson’s best options are either to give it to a desperate rookie like Alan Shearer, though that’s been done before with no success, or to a desperate veteran like Peter Reid. Explain to me again how this is better than Brown?

Brown certainly didn’t do himself any favours. An outspoken and controversial character, he wore silly jumpers, sang into microphones and wore that daft call-centre headpiece. But what do you want from your managers? Dull, grey accountants or characters that you can have opinions on? You can understand why the Arsenal fans are celebrating, but Hull may never again experience the success they enjoyed under Brown. A perma-tanned, publicity-mad wally he may have been, but he was an excellent football manager as well.


Dec 10, 2006
Seems you were right with your prediction about the kind of manager who would take over Slip. For all of Phil Brown's faults, if I was him I would be gutted that I was replaced by somebody as aesthically repulsive as Dowie.

Can you imagine how humiliated he must feel? Phil obviously takes a great deal of pride in his appearance and to be replaced as the face of 'Ull by a skinhead who looks like he has been chewing wasps most of his life must be even more painful than the plutonium rods he probably eats for breakfast to maintain his 'ready-brek' glow.

Phil, I understand why you were forced to get your tan from a bottle, the last time Hull saw any sun was before the industrial revolution. You'll be fine though, you're too good-looking to be out of work for too long. I've got a sneaking suspicion that Palace will come-a-calling for you...you and Simon Jordan would be a marriage made in heaven.
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