Chairman Brian Fenton on the appointment of Kevin Blackwell“Kevin Blackwell is in position and that’s a big weight of my shoulders now. Hopefully now we can sit back and watch us progress up the table.
I’m not sure who interviewed who when Kevin came for his interview, he was excellent. Not just about the managerial aspects, but about developing a football club. We had some excellent candidates and his win ratio is very good.
I’ve seen the names being mentioned in the media, and not many of them were close to the mark. A lot of them were way of the mark. I don’t even look at the betting odds that I am told about. We had five or six that had managed in the premier league.
I’m surprised that we have got him when you look at his record. He was by far the best candidate and came over really well and all the board of directors are delighted with the appointment.
His win record at Sheffield United and at Leeds United is unbelievable and if we can get anywhere near what he achieved at both those clubs, then I think everyone will be happy.
Last season the aim was to stay in this league and I told Richie Barker that if we finished 5th or 6th from the bottom it would be a result. We finished 14th, but before Richie left in the summer, we were looking for a top ten finish this season. If this season we finish anywhere near where we finished last season, then we have to look at it as a building block.
This is not a short term appointment. Kevin will sort the club out from the youth team right through to the first team. The fact that he knew the club and knew the people that work here was a big factor. It’s not all about his contacts and how he does it, it’s also the scientific part of the game.
We gave Peter Shirtliff the opportunity to steady the ship after Richie left and we had a number of games in mind that we gave him. The performances in the first four or five games I think we were unlucky to be four of five places further up the league than where we are now. That’s football though; it didn’t work out for him. The Tranmere game and the MK Dons game was enough, but the decision had already been made before those games, but we couldn’t do anything that quickly.
There is a process involved and it does take a couple of weeks and this is where we are now. I spoke to Peter around ten minutes before we revealed Kevin’s name, he’s been kept in the loop all the way through this and he has appreciated that.
Both Peter Shirtliff and Ben Futcher have been very loyal to Bury Football Club, they have been very professional and they have gone about their jobs. Peter knows the results didn’t go his way, but everyone has to share that responsibility. Peter does what he has to do behind the scenes, but the players have to hold their hands up and say it’s not been good enough.
This is a team effort, with the directors, the fans, the players and the management – we’ve all got to get together now and get behind Kevin and give him all the support we can.
We will wait and see what Kevin says on Monday morning before we go and start bringing players in. We will sit down and talk there. If he feels we need to strengthen then we will.
Kevin will also look at the youth system; we haven’t had a lot of young players coming through. Andrai Jones is probably the only one that has got into the first team on a regular basis; we want more youth coming through. We want the whole club to be more professional.
Kevin Blackwell is a high end appointment for this football club. We were blown away by the quality of the applications we had for the job. We could have done this earlier; I will take the responsibility for that. We thought the Sheff United game would have kicked start us, but it hasn’t. We didn’t want to be cut adrift and at the moment we are not.
Kevin has three games in a week now and I hope he hits the ground running. They don’t get much easier than this, we know he has a tough start but he has our support."
We have a quality manager in and I hope the fans get behind him.”