Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry was interviewed on BBC Radio Bristol this afternoon giving some of his views on the decision to take Steve Thompson out of the current management position and to look to appoint a successor over the summer. Ciderspace will aim to publish a full transcript of that interview soon, but in the meantime, the following represents the rough theme of the interview.
Fry claimed that when Steve was appointed that there were concerns over his ability to cover the whole job role given his lack of management experience but he stressed that Steve Thompson wanted the job. He said that Steve had done an excellent job and said that made the decision to remove him a harder one to make. Fry stated that Steve still wanted to carry on in the job, but that they had concerns about "the wheels coming off" midway through next season. He said that he had given Steve the chance to consider the situation but that Steve had indicated to him that he wanted to carry on working at Huish Park.
Fry has said that Steve has yet to have a new contract drawn up and implied that this would not happen until the new manager was in place. Although he did not state this, it could be assumed that the club are leaving open the possibility that the new manager may not want Steve there if he brings his own coaching staff with him. However he did later state that "Steve Thompson's future is secure".
Fry indicated that the reason for the change is that Steve was lacking time for his own personal development after going into the "front line". Fry said that Steve would be taking a Management Training Course this summer to "improve the formal education of his football management". He said that Steve was not given that but was dropped into the deep end.
Fry denied that Steve's role change was a demotion claiming that a demotion would be Steve going to a smaller club and that in staying at Yeovil it was not a demotion. He said that people had been expecting Thommo to perform miracles against the time he had got and the money that he was being paid.
The position of Kevin Hodges was still in the "melting pot". He said he still wanted to strength the coaching side. He said he was establishing a "Yeovil Football Partnership" for young player development and stated that Kevin was an ideal person to look at that, although said that there were other options there. He said he also wanted to see club captain Terry Skiverton develop his coaching skills with a longer term aim of being groomed as a manager within the game.
Fry indicated that he had not interviewed any candidates for the manager's job and said that he had looked at 120-150 names made available from the League Managers Association. He said that some names on the rumourmill were "way off the beam" referring to managers on "gardening leave". Radio Bristol picked up on this and referred to Ian Holloway but whilst Fry said he would not rule out such a profile, he expected Holloway would want a Championship level club and stated that he had not spoken to him with respect to the position. He said he had not spoken to Holloway for around two years.
He stated that there would be a rapid decision made and that he was looking for "management talent" rather than "coaching talent" to fill the position. He said that he wanted a manager who was not "sat up there" like a Director of Football but someone who would be a "hands on" person, describing management as a "separate function". He wanted someone who could manage the whole scouting system, deal with contracts, manage the loaning of players and transfer windows and he claimed that these were the areas where things had gone wrong during the 2005-06 season.
The interview did not mention the future position of owner David Webb nor any rumours suggesting that Norman Hayward may be returning that persist despite denials made by the club in the past.
Fry told the radio station: "Steve is back in the line he's very very good at, and this management business needs special skills and experience. Steve was dropped into the deep end, and to give him his due he didn't sink, he swam."
He also explained the way forward: "In the next few days, we'll be getting interviews arranged and there will be people enquiring about the job. They have to have league experience, and a period of success. We're looking for management talent, more than coaching talent, because we've got a talented coach."
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