Supporters Charter Meeting
As some of you will be aware, during the early part of this season the club got in touch with various fan groups to invite them to a meeting with members of the clubs board and executive staff.
The idea was to help keep fans informed about the goings on at the club and for us to help with any issues that have arose and to help give our opinions as supporters.
Myself and other members of the supporters groups were invited to this meeting a fortnight ago. Mel Morris, Sam Rush, Gary Rowett, Stephen Pearce, Paul Tyrell, Faye Nixon and Daniel Holdsworth were in attendance from the club.
Below is what was brought up at this evening’s meeting.
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The obvious place to start was with the change in manager. Morris made it clear that performance levels hadn’t been acceptable for a while and that Friday nights game was the final straw. Statistically, it was the least the players had run all season.
The decision to part company with Steve McClaren wasn’t one that was made over night and it was obvious from other members of the clubs board that it wasn’t a decision that was taken easily. But, it had become apparent for a while that the club wasn’t progressing as was hoped.
Gary Rowett is articulate and knowledgeable and it’s difficult not to be impressed by him. He talks extremely well and is obviously a student of the game. He may lack the levels of experience that others have but he certainly makes up for it with his energy and enthusiasm.
He wants his teams to play with energy, passion and commitment, something which’ll be music to the ears of fans. To my mind, he seems to be a good balance between Steve McClaren and Nigel Pearson. Not too soft and not too demonstrative.
One of his tasks will be to reduce the size of the squad and in turn the wage bill. It’s the clubs intention to have between five to seven players categorised within the top bracket of earners, seven to nine as mid-ranking and those below are younger players or members of the development squad. There’s also room in the budget for signing players on loan too (something which wasn’t elaborated on but I’d hope the club will utilise the loan market next season).
I asked about was the clubs intention with the recruitment as this has been something which has bothered myself and others for some time.
The club are looking to replace Chris Evans and Rowett has identified a few who could do the role. Whether the title will be Technical Director, I’m not sure but that is a role which will be filled at some point.
Rowett and his staff will be in charge of the recruitment of players. My understanding is that the recruitment structure won’t be an independent part of the club and that it falls under the managers remit.
In regards to signing players, Rowett spoke of his time at Birmingham where they targeted specific European markets because the value was better and cited the signing of Maikel Kieftenbeld for £160,000 as an example. He also spoke of signing players with a point to prove and those with aspirations to progress in their career and stated that he wasn’t fond of signing players in their late 20s coming down from the Premier League.
Rowett is a winner. Don’t think that he’s happy to just let this season go and use it as some sort of extended pre-season. He’s here to win. He wants to hit the ground running with a win on Saturday and to win as many games between now and the end of the season.
It became clear to me that there is a need and wish for there to be a culture change at the club. Derby and Morris want to progress and develop and there’s a sense that this hasn’t happened enough (especially on the field).
The club are proud of the work they’ve done off the field though, in particular with the developments to the academy and it was said that they felt that Rowett has a much better chance of succeeding now than he would have had he been appointed 12-18 months previous.
Finally, the pub tours should be making a return towards the end of the season. The club are in the process of finalising a location and are hoping to confirm this soon.
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That’s what I can remember off the top of my head. If any more of it springs to mind then I’ll update the post below.
From a personal point of view, it does feel like Rowett is the right man for the job. His energy and enthusiasm is infectious and he has the remit to do as he pleases should the players not respond to his methods.
I think it’s fair to assume that we’ll be seeing more honest performance from his teams, whether that’s immediately or after the summer but it’s clear to me that Rowett is here to win and that is one quality I want in the man leading my club.