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Furneaux on Humberside

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 29/12/2001

CLUB CHAIRMAN Peter Furneaux, speaking on BBC Radio Humberside, took listeners through what happened on Friday, one of the most eventful days in the club's history. The day saw Lennie Lawrence dismissed, Paul Groves appointed and John Cockerill resign.

Home > Features > Interviews > Peter Furneaux


On Lawrence's sacking

As you would expect he's always the perfect gentleman. He never has any problems with things that happen in football - he's quite an experienced manager in that way. He felt that we'd been placed in an entirely difficult situation and he fully understood our position as we fully understood his.

The decision is entirely ours - it was the board's decision completely. The situation was that we've gone on as long as we could and with twenty remaining fixtures we felt it was absolutely imperative that the supporters, the media, the sponsors and the staff of the club saw that in these next twenty games we have done everything we possibly could to keep us in this division (at least) and be seen to be going forward.

The decision had to be made as to when to that had come. Some may say, on reflection, that we should have done it before. Some may say that we should leave it. The decision and the timing is entirely ours. We've not in any way been influenced by outside sources.

Why did the board pick Paul Groves?

Paul is very much respected within this club by everybody. To bring in somebody from outside at this stage of the season with so much involved in First Division status would be very very difficult for the person involved. We looked at somebody who was respected at the club by everybody, and I mean everybody, and that person is Paul Groves. He will go out there, and he has done a number of times throughout the season, when perhaps he's not as fit as others, and give everything he's got. The players will play for him and that we hope to see tomorrow.

The management team which he has will be with him, the directors are behind him and will assist him in every way possible, including finance. We're going to put our trust in him to take us forward - an extremely difficult job.

When it was put to him he didn't say to us how much am I going to get, am I on a bonus, what is the wage, nothing like that. It was: we've got to stay in this league, I will do all in my power to do it, whatever I can do I will do. That was the nature of the man, that was what we wanted to hear, and that's how it came over.

On John Cockerill

The situation regarding John Cockerill was that we wanted John within our team. We asked him to stay within our team in the position he was in, which he felt unable to accept and he has left. I am still slightly surprised by that action. That does not mean that Graham was not in our original thoughts - he was and would have been in the team in any case. But John Cockerill's position was secure.

On Graham Rodger

Graham has always been a motivator. He was club captain for quite a long time. He's shown his commitment, he was the player's spokesman when it came to contracts and he's not lost that art. In fact he's practiced it today a little!



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