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Barnsley – this isn’t a gimmick! - 28/10/2002

Barnsley – this isn’t a gimmick!
David Hirst - a good understanding

I can confirm that David Hirst and I would be very interested in taking up the vacant position at Barnsley. I genuinely believe that we’d do a very good job at Oakwell, and the fact that we’re willing to put in our time and effort for no salary should evidence our belief, determination and commitment to the role. Strangely I received a call from a reporter asking if the offer was a gimmick!!! Well I don’t quite understand what he was getting at, we both have genuine affection for the club, we understand the financial constraints, and we still believe we can do the job. Asking for no salary simply highlights our belief that we can turn things around. We’ve taken a look at the situation, we’ve assessed the playing resources, and we are certain the club can move forward. The offer to work without payment was based on two factors, firstly it is an acknowledgement of the club’s financial constraints, and secondly it highlights our belief in our ability to get the job done – effectively putting out money where our mouths are.

I’ve known David Hirst for many years, we know each other, and we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The role of football club management is made up of many tasks and responsibilities, I’d concentrate on certain aspects and he’d concentrate on others, they’d be some that we’d share, and ultimately we’d be a good team – working together in partnership. Another important aspect of the job is to share the same philosophy – we do! Many management partnerships are weakened by competition between the management team, this wouldn’t be the case here. He’d manage the club where it comes to personnel and administration, I’d manage the training, and we’d work out the other aspects between ourselves. We’re both happy with this understanding and I’d be happy to concentrate on the training pitch.

As I’ve mentioned before on the site, I don’t see the need for players to rush into management and coaching straight after hanging up their boots. A period of reflection is healthy, and it’s not as if the two of us have been away from the game. I’m seeing more football now than I ever did during my playing days. I’m also assessing teams, the way they play, and the merits of certain individual players – that’s my role when I’m working with the media. With the two of us having played for the club, we’ve always kept an eye out for Barnsley, so we’d be going into the challenge with our eyes wide open. We’ll see if we get the chance, but one thing's for sure, this certainly isn’t any gimmick!

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