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Sunday, September 13, 2020

It's Two Years Since Beadle Was Sacked By Hereford FC

It's two years today since Peter Beadle was sacked by Hereford FC.  

BN looks back:

The sacking of Peter Beadle came 36 hours after Westfields had defeated Hereford in the first round of the HFA Cup. The manager had given goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi his debut but mistakes by him led to two goals for the visitors.

After the Tuesday evening game Beadle was asked about the pressure on him as the club was now in the Conference North.

"There's a sense of reality of where we are right now as a football club," he said.

"But like I said this is the first time in four seasons we are in a bit of poor form.

"We are disrupted a bit with the injuries and it's not been a settled group certainly at the front end of the pitch but there's no magic formula, we've just go to get out there and hopefully get out of this little rut and start putting some points back on the board."

No sign of what was in store for Beadle on Thursday September 13th.

Hereford FC have announced that the club has this morning parted company with manager, Peter Beadle.

The announcement comes following a lengthy Board meeting at Edgar Street last night.

Speaking about the club's decision, Chairman, Ken Kinnersley, said: 'This is not a decision the Board has taken lightly and it is one made with a heavy heart. However, the Directors are in unanimous agreement that now is the right time to make a change.

'While recent results have been disappointing, this is a decision taken more with the long-term goal of progressing to the Football League in mind and we feel it will give the club the best possible chance of continuing the positive progress it has made so far."

One of the first people connected with the club to comment on the sacking was general manager James Watts.

"There's a number of factors that have lead to the decision. It's not just because we lost to Westfields, it's happened over a period of time. We're looking at where the club needs to be operationally to move forward.

"Hereford FC is a big club and obviously there’s going to be a number of applicants from the north, south and some with Football League history.

“We know what we need and whoever it is will need to tick a lot of boxes for the business strategy the club has got going forward.

"We need to have a look at all the applicants, there has to be first interviews, second interviews and then make a decision from there. We can’t rush into it." 

Later that day in an interview with BBC Hereford and Worcester Watts gave a bit more insight into the reasons Beadle was sacked.

"At the moment with the way this league is a completely different league to where we've played and the standard and the structure is a lot higher so the board had to look at what's happened in recent weeks, the results, the performances.

"It's a long-term plan of the club, the club has had strategy meetings in the past, the club has had advice from people external to the club about where it needs to go."

The Junior Bulls felt Beadle would be missed.

"On a dark and chilly evening he gave us time at Hartpury on a training night for players to take part in a photo session for the JB Christmas card, Beads joined in the fun too dressing as Santa."

Rob Purdie praised Beadle.

"Some people say with the budget, anyone could have done the job he did, but I don't believe that. His recruitment for three years was up there with Graham Turner's, finding the right player to fit in on the pitch and in the dressing room."

Then a statement from HUST:

“We appreciate the concerns that have been expressed by supporters since the news that Peter Beadle and Hereford FC, parted company. It was a very difficult decision that was taken with the long-term goal of taking our club into the Football League. All 3 HND's were engaged in the process throughout and following significant discussions, the decision was deemed to be in the best long-term interests of HFC."

The Guardian contrasted the situation at West Ham with Hereford:

'On the one hand, it feels ridiculous to be talking about Pellegrini’s job being under threat in mid-September. On the other hand, that is the narrative of modern-day football and I doubt Peter Beadle imagined, five weeks into the season, he would be turfed out either.'

HUST Nominated Director Andrew Graham commented:

"The entire board that I have been working with, works tirelessly for one objective and that is to get us back to the football league.

"Therein lies the only reason for the parting of company."

News about who the club wanted soon followed:

Hereford FC invite applications for the position of Head Coach.

We are looking for an ambitious, determined individual with a modern approach.

– The head coach will work closely within a new management structure.
– Ideally have experience of the National League or in a Full Time Professional set up.
– FA Licensed Coach

But perhaps more interesting was a statement from the club on Monday September 17th:

‘As a board we understand concerns raised by supporters over the past few days, but can offer reassurance that the Directors unanimously believe the decisions that have been made are in the best interests of this football club.

‘Over time we have been taking the opportunity to speak to a number of respected figures from within the game to try to understand the type of structure that will best suit the club as we look to continue our progress up the football pyramid.

‘We have spoken to people with a long track record in the game, who clearly have far more knowledge and experience in football than we do, so we can give Hereford FC the best possible chance of further success through maximising the resources we have available.

‘We believe we cannot just focus on the here and now, and that we have to start to develop a scouting network that will help us secure the services of players with bright futures in the game by attracting them to Edgar Street and giving them a chance to perform and develop to their full potential.

‘We not only want to recruit players for our first team, we also want to bring our own players through our academy and feel we need greater expertise at the club to do that. In addition, we also need to consider when we might be able to go full time, which in itself is a huge project for us to be thinking about.

‘With all that in mind, as a board we feel we need to go down a different route in terms of the football leadership and will therefore be recruiting a Head of Football to manage all aspects relating to the playing side of the club.

‘A Head Coach will be brought in to focus on the management of the first team squad, and he will report to the Head of Football and work closely with him to ensure all football areas are pulling in the same direction. The recruitment process for both these positions has started in earnest and supporters will be provided with updates as soon as they are available.

‘While the Directors understand that the recent changes to the management structure here at Edgar Street have come as a shock to many, the board all agree the new direction is the best approach to give us success on the pitch and ensure we become as professional as the clubs we are now competing against.

‘Rest assured the Board are under no illusions about how important this football club is to its supporters, but we also feel that the club cannot stand still and that making changes now, from a position of strength, will potentially have enormous benefits for the long-term success of the club.’

A day later Beadle and Jenkins released a statement to BN:

'Like many people we were shocked and disappointed on Thursday 13th September with the news that Hereford FC was terminating our employment with immediate effect.

On reflection over the weekend we still feel that it was a little rash or harsh. We both knew that the block of games we’d just come out of was always going to be tough and after them we felt we knew what was needed. Sadly we never had that opportunity and instead we sat having coffee reflecting on what has been an incredible journey.
We have so many people to thank for playing a part and sharing in our journey. Along that course there were 3 Championships, a Wembley Final, an amazing FA Cup run in which we got to the 2nd round proper, 3 HFA final wins, a League Cup win and a Champion of Champions win. There were also three club of the year awards and Non-League Team of the year last season.

Our first thanks go to the Players who, despite many peoples’ thoughts, were right behind what we were doing and the way we were doing it. Our changing room was as strong and together last Saturday as it was in the first season, something we’ve been very meticulous about is whatever happens the changing room must ‘always be together’. So we would like to thank every player that has pulled on a Hereford shirt during our tenure and always given nothing less than 100%.

Next, we thank the ‘behind the scenes’ volunteers, those from turnstile attendants, ticket office workers, cleaners, Junior Bulls supervisors, and probably many more we can’t think of. Without your contribution to the cause the club would not function properly. We know the board have said thank you many times, but Steve and I would also like to say thank you to you for your many hours of tireless and sometimes thankless work.

We salute you the supporters. What can be said that hasn’t been said before. For three and a bit seasons the way you have followed the team home and away has been incredible. Walking out at the front of the team at Wembley to see 20,000 Hereford FC fans was and will be one of my proudest days. I know there are some supporters out there, who for whatever reason didn’t like the way I did things, but rest assured every decision made by myself and Steve was always in the best interests of the club. We had a job to do and did it to the best of our ability every single training session and match day. So we thank you all for your incredible support during this unbelievable journey.

Now finally to the staff, Roger Lloyd, Jonny Evans, Rhys Evans, Matthew Bishop and Martin Watson. We have been together from the very beginning. We have certainly had more ups than downs but when it came to it this is without doubt the best staff we have ever worked with. Loyal, trustworthy, professional and superb at their respective roles. This journey wouldn’t have been the same without them.

So, Gentlemen, Players, Volunteers and Supporters thank you for the memories.'

And the next morning news that Tim Harris had been appointed head of football at Edgar Street:

"We are absolutely delighted Tim has accepted this position as we feel he is the perfect fit for the Head of Football role in our new structure," said chairman Ken Kinnersley.

"He impressed every member of the board greatly when we met him and listened to him at length as he answered all the questions posed.

"Most importantly, he has a huge amount of football experience at our current level and above, in both managerial and Director of Football roles, and has shown that he understands every aspect of running a football club – from the youth programme to the first team – to give it the best possible chance of on-field success.

"He also has a tremendous passion, priceless experience and has previously helped guide a non-league club into the Football League, while also managing a transition from part-time to full-time.

"Over his career he has been responsible for spotting a number of players who have gone on to have lengthy Football League careers which has produced excellent income.

"As the Head of Football, we see Tim as being responsible for implementing our football structure, developing a scouting network, and planning recruitment from academy to first team. We feel he has all the right tools for the job.

"We are all very much looking forward to working with Tim and know he is really excited by the opportunity he has been offered at Hereford FC.

"We’re sure that our fantastic supporters will join us in offering him a very warm welcome and that everyone will get right behind him in his new role."

Harris spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester about his new role:

"I think it’s an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down

"To help Hereford progress up the leagues is a great opportunity for me."

On recruiting a head coach:

"We’ve had loads and loads of applications and some very high-profile names. It’s important that we speak to them and look to the right appointment to get things right on the field, and to ensure we press onwards and upwards."

Perhaps more revealing were words from Harris in a Hereford Times interview:

"A few days later Pete Beadle has left his position and I got approached last weekend to ask if I would be interested in a chat.

"When I sat down and saw the plan these guys had of what they wanted to do and to change the philosophy it was a too good opportunity to turn down."

A further statement from the HFC Board before a Fans Forum took place on Friday September 27th:

'We feel it is fair to explain to fans that several months ago a review panel was established to look at the club’s football strategy. The panel included people who are well qualified to advise on this subject, given they all had an intimate knowledge of football at both National League and Football League level.

‘As a Board, while we are all enthusiastic football fans, we accept that we do not have the detailed knowledge of football that people who have worked in the game do and external experts were approached to be part of the review panel.

‘As a result of that review, and the recommendations that came from the panel, it was decided that when the time was right we would implement the recommended structural changes that had been put forward.

'The Board was unanimous in the view that having secured promotion to the National League North, the players and the club itself deserved to have the best opportunity possible to be competitive at this higher level and beyond. We all firmly believe that the structure change was necessary at this point and therefore we believe this very difficult decision was made in the best long-term interests of our individual players, the team, the club, and also our Youth Academy players too.

‘As mentioned before, as there was never going to be an ideal time to implement such a change – other than perhaps waiting for the incumbent management team to move on of their own choice – we decided to act now as opposed to delaying until later in the season when it may have been too late to affect this year’s finishing position.

‘We hope supporters understand why we cannot go into specific detail about the recent departures, but we can offer complete reassurance that it was not a knee-jerk reaction based on any single thing that has occurred.'