Marshall: ‘I didn’t quit Yellows for football reasons’

Hucknall Town Manager Brett Marshall
Hucknall Town Manager Brett Marshall

HUCKNALL Town are on the hunt for their 15th managerial appointment in just 11 years after boss Brett Marshall (pictured) quit the club this week.

The Yellows hotseat has become a merry-go-round in recent years and Marshall has lasted just 18 competitive games in charge at Watnall Road.

He handed in his notice — alongside assistant manager Graham Walker — after his troops had trudged off from an uninspiring 2-0 defeat at the hands of Belper Town in Division One South of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League on Tuesday night.

But speaking to the Dispatch, 43-year-old Marshall said his decision to resign had nothing to do with footballing reasons — despite his side only managing four wins and three draws under his stewardship.

Instead the sales director made claims that his position at the club was no longer tenable and made allegations that the hierarchy at Watnall Road were planning to replace him as manager with a former Nottingham Forest player.

“I wanted to stay on and finish the job I and Graham had started”, said Marshall, who moved to Hucknall Town from Retford United in the summer.

“I know the work that Graham and I have put in, I have been putting 50 hours a week into the club. I love the club and I knew we could have got Hucknall out of the relegation zone.

“Before the Belper game I signed a player. I then went all the way to Doncaster to pick him up so he could play and then drove him home after the match. That’s the sort of hands-on manager I am.

“But I couldn’t carry on, I felt undermined by what was going on.”

However, chairman Derek Blow, who also took over at Town in the summer and played a part in bringing Marshall to the club, moved quickly, through the Dispatch, to scotch any claims about a move to replace the manager.

“It is just not true,” said Blow. “The allegations are totally unfounded and the person Brett is talking about will not be coming to the club.

“Brett is now gone and we want to move on. The truth is he and the players have struggled.”

Businessman Blow, who owns a chain of opticians, now has his sights firmly set on the future and told the Dispatch he received seven applications for the vacant manager’s position on Wednesday alone.

He says he would like a new boss in place within ten dyas. In the meantime, the existing backroom staff will take on control of the team, starting with the visit of Mickleover Sports to Watnall Road in the league tomorrow (Saturday).

Before the season started, Marshall, who won the Northern Counties League with Retford before joining The Yellows, said he had hopes of challenging for promotion.

He brought with him several of his Retford players and spoke in public of his lofty aims.

But this week he tempered that, saying: “When I came to the club my understanding was that my objective was to keep them in the division.

“I have put the infrastructure in place with coaches and a new physio and know I could have turned things around.

“But our budget and financial difficulties meant we couldn’t compete with some of the other clubs.

“We did think at first that we would be able to compete, but we very quickly realised that we couldn’t with the spending power we had.”

But Blow also rubbished this claim, saying Marshall knew what the budget constraints were at Watnall Road as the club made attempts to get its debt under control, including an £85,000 bill to the VAT man.

Blow added that he felt Marshall was given backing and a competitive budget and reiterated his belief that results simply were not good enough

“Brett Marshall signed 33 players for the club in the four months he was in charge,” said the chairman. “Just look at the league table. He is a nice bloke and we gave him all we could under the circumstances.

“We are still battling on. As a club we are getting back on our feet but we are not out of the woods (financially) yet.”

Marshall signed off by saying: “The players who have come in have done everything they could and I thank every one of them, everyone at the club and the fans who grew to support us.”