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Steve Lansdown interview


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2 hours ago, Suffolk Red said:

Here are my thought for what it's worth.

Negatives

1. Living on Guernsey as he does SL needs a powerful CEO to run the club day to day. Ashton is capable and works hard but is paid too much and  has too much influence in deciding managers + players to employ. He has got it completely wrong on too many occasions. The appointment of Holden was a complete disaster.

2. We have departed recently from purchasing players with further potential to signing 30 +journeymen on fat wages.

3.We continue to be perceived as a nice club but with a soft underbelly.

4.SL is risk averse, which is probably why he is so wealthy, but we nearly always end up employing a cheaper second rate manager without the experience or ruthelesnes to take on Ashton or make the necessary demands of the players.

5 There is something drastically wrong in our physio/medical department.

6. It's very tough under ffp to compete with clubs with parachute payments. This will only change if we can somehow manage to get into the prem ourselves, even if it's only for one season 

Positives

1. We are now an established Championship club with a superb ground, training facilities and academy that it starting to produce many talented young players. We regularly attract crowds of 20,000. This is a massive leap from from where we were in the 80's with crowds of 8,000 and we were yoyoing between League 1 and The Championship. This ia all down to the investment of SL.

2.SL is still massively passionate about the club. He cares and the new training facilities should push the club closer towards the goal. I Can see city in future years yoyoing between The Premiership and Championship in a similar vein to say Norwich City. If we had only won our one visit to the play off final, I think that's where we would be now.

The limit of our potential would be something like Leicester City. 

3. We just need to make the right appointment. If we can start to make the play offs, on the law of averages we will make the leap to the prem if only for one season and then become one of the parachute payment clubs that can get back up much more easily. There is then reason to hope we can become a Brighton or previously Bournemouth and stay there for a few seasons.

Conclusion.

This next appointment is critical.

The appointment of Eddie Howe would be a master stroke and would give me massive grounds for optimism.

The appointment of Paul Cook would be give me real hope of making the play offs in the next couple of years

The appointment of someone like Ryan Lowe would be similair to Lee Johnson. We might make the play offs if we are lucky.

The appointment of someone like Michael Appleton would convince me Ashton has too much control and would not fill me with confidence.

Over to you Steve and thanks for all you have done, we really appreciate it 👍

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Negatives

2.  I don't see this as a negative.  The 30+ signings are, in my opinion, a temporary change so as to reduce as much as possible our ongoing contractual obligations.  They they are on short term contracts with Only Chris Martin contracted next season.  The only major signing was Joe Williams which wasn't a departure and  who I believe will become an excellent signing and should become captain.

There is scope for maybe 8 signings in the summer.  That is an attractive situation for a new head coach.

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11 minutes ago, glos old boy said:

He should already have a exp replacement lined up, he had almost record breaking time, last effort. Sometimes a snap go with your head decision pays off without endless thought.

Absolutely. Taking time to make sure he gets it right seems to be ignoring the fact that we are dropping like a stone!

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9 hours ago, RED4LIFE said:

See, I saw it the opposite way to that.

SL says, Mark I want you to run the rule over X, Y & Z managers and give me your opinion but they must be willing to fit into the way I have decided the way the club should be ran.

MA then speaks to X, Y & Z and gives Steve his opinion on them and Steve then decides who he wants. LJ was a prime example of this. MA then needs to spin it to make it sound like it was a group decision. 

Basically, I saw that interview as 'I run this club the way I see fit even though, officially, I'm not on the board'.

He owns the majority of shares and pays the bills so he is entitled to do so. Whether he makes the right decisions is another argument altogether

I honestly don't believe SL spends his time finding out what managers are available etc.

Imo...the managers, coaches would be monitored by MA and his team. 

A list of suitable candidates put together by MA.

SL may see from afar how well someone is doing at another club and ask to the chances...but I can't see him being more involved than that, until list of candidates drawn up.

Just how I see it.

It's what he pays MA to do.

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Thought it was more a PR exercise than an interview, to be honest.

That isn’t a criticism, it was a strong update that, judging from the majority of comments, did exactly what it was designed to do - extend a reassuring olive branch to fans.

What struck me most was not any single comment (though there were clearly a few telling ones re structure etc), it was the unnecessary level of detail early in the piece. When discussing Holden’s departure there was plenty of explanation that, quite frankly, didn’t need to be there. We’ve all seen it unfold, play has been largely poor all season culminating in the recent nose dive. Lansdown didn’t need to go into detail (or certainly not as much) as to why Holden was removed, I found it revealing that he did, concluding it to be an attempt to pull fans away from the perhaps growing feeling that he (and others) are not ‘football people’.

In assessing our plight he spoke like a fan would speak more than a boss parting with a much loved employee. I’m not cynical enough to suggest he isn’t a fan / it’s all constructed, but it certainly seemed to me that it was very intentionally designed to build bridges.

I also came away feeling it confirmed he, ultimately, has the final say. Whether morally bound or as a businessman seeking to protect what he sees as an asset he took the bullet for Ashton. Of course there are already plenty of posts subtly retreating from the view that Holden was Ashton’s man, onto the safer hill of Ashton manipulating the selection process to ensure his evil deeds materialise.. It was interesting that he spoke about being more involved in the process and stuttered when discussing Jon. As others have touched on, you wonder if there are divisions, if it’s become/becoming clear that Jon won’t be the man to lead the club and this is Steve repositioning himself, temporarily or not. In one fell swoop he is taking the blame for Holden being appointed yet inferring through being more involved in the process that the same thing won’t happen again. 

If anyone thinks Jon Lansdown wanted to appoint Dean Holden then I urge you to rewatch his first {minute and a half} interview post appointment (below), I remember laughing at the time and it's hard not to now. Additionally, it amazes me how many people will happily call Ashton a ‘suit’ or ‘snake in the grass’ then bulk at the idea that he’ll continue taking his wage through carrying out decisions made at a higher level. If I’m getting paid 500k a year and my boss, knowing better than anyone else, is happy with the work I’m doing, then people can think what they like. How many times does it need to be discussed, this is Lansdown's club. Lansdown is the boss, the employer. Ashton needs to be able to say 'No, I think you've got this wrong', maybe he does, maybe he doesn't, but it's pretty unavoidable that Ashton has been employed to carry out a remit that, in his employers eyes, he's doing a pretty good job of. I’m not suggesting Ashton is an angel who doesn’t and shouldn’t have his performance evaluated, and I don't think it's unfair to conclude that his presence at the club is, in some ways, a hinderance, but it’s inescapable he’s become the convenient fall guy rather than question the man bankrolling the clubs existence.

Whether we like it or not Lansdown (and Ashton) have a very clear idea of how the club will run. He mentioned not destroying what ‘we’ built very deliberately and, his tone in doing so, spells out exactly why certain high calibre candidates wouldn’t come here. The word I wanted to hear in that interview which I didn’t (please correct me if I’m wrong) was ‘flexible’. I want to know that whilst a McCarthy, Hughton, Warnock may never fit in here (as things are), that a Cook, Wagner, Howe might. That the club are open to examine the way they do things without clutching it too tightly in fear that an adjustment here and there may burn it to the ground. Evolution is key. I just hope Lansdown is open-minded enough to allow tweaks for Cook that Appleton wouldn't require.

 

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33 minutes ago, The Bard said:

SL pointedly said the next man or woman...

Think that’s probably a case a female coach (not necessarily Hayes) has applied and he didn’t want to sound dismissive of their application. You could picture a headline of some rag newspaper just to make a headline out of a nothing line ‘club owner dismisses female coach application by only considering male candidates’.

or even if a female coach who’d applied retweeted the clubs tweet about the interview saying something like ‘when he’s appointed, nice to know the applications of women aren’t taken seriously’ 

it’s just being careful I expect as it could easily inadvertently turn into bad press

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All credit to  SL for coming on again, he has at least listened to some of the criticism directed at the club.   However it is a grave error of judgement in my opinion to   have Ashton as the initial compiler and instigator of the   applicants, he has a poor track record to put it mildly!!  As soon as i heard SL say  that Ashton will be entrusted with assessing and interviewing the applicants, and drawing up a short list, my heart sank.

 They all got it seriously wrong last time, why can't Lansdown see that we need some independent advice from senior football men, who could come in as advisers to help with recruitment in the short term.  Someone like Scudamore or even Alex Ferguson, that type of "been there and done it" figure could be invaluable in finding the right man?  But No, he turns again to Ashton, who I have No faith in at all.  Normally when we are seeking a new manager I am excited at the prospect, but I am now thinking the worst, and dreading which mate of Ashton will get to manage our club.

With the structure that we have in place, I am really not sure we will end up with the best candidate, very few independently minded, strong characters will be interested in having Ashton pulling the strings, and I think it will put off a number of quality applicants.  Steve spoke well and admitted that they got it wrong, but he could doing nothing else really, could he?   But it is not enough to take the blame..............what is needed are some  brave decisions about how the club is set up and an infrastructure that seems not to work?    What I am really hoping for,  is if a really top quality applicant states that they are very interested in the job, but not with the present set up in place, and then SL will be made to make a decision whether to turn down someone perfect for the job, or to scrap the Ashton dictatorship and recruit a top manager/coach.   I am NOT holding my breath  on that wish though!!

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11 hours ago, Davefevs said:

I think if MA supplies a list with Appleton and 3 no-hopers, SL will kick his arse out of the club.

I do sense he’s lost some trust, along with his son....hence SL actually gonna interview the top candidates.  I sense Jon might not be at the club much longer....not as Chairman anyway.  Think he maybe realised he’s not an owner in the making...and I think that might be why he’s put the clubs finance in a position where it’s not a hand me down.  All the other stuff, will be handed down.

Might be wide of the mark.

i hope you're right.    Nice enough fellow, but he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer.   If you watch the Big Welcome Holden as Head Coach press conference on the Tube, at the end of it,  MA and DH have left and it's just him talking.     He can't seem to string coherent thoughts together at times.       When asked why we appointed yet another Assisant as Head Coach when we've tried it and failed with it so many times, he basically seems to say the "machine" they've built to support the role is so good that it doesn't really matter as much who you appoint.     maybe he was just nervous.

I haven't heard the latest SL interview yet, but I'm interested to read that he's frightened of someone coming in a "destroying" everything they've built.   he's referring to this "machine" that JL and MA talk about at the Holden presser.      It shows that they are all corporate people rather than football people.   

Time for a big football brain in this Club, Stevie boy.

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Nice to have an update from Steve, but nowhere did I hear that it was his choice to employ Dean as head coach. I got the impression that this time he will take more of a hands-on role because those pesky kids can’t be trusted...

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Good interview and good timing as communication was needed if an immediate appointment was not to be made.

Don't accept that MA is just going to submit a shortlist of people that can be his puppets, I am sure SL / JL will be kept informed of serious applicants and MA would need to provide rational if they are not short listed, to suggest otherwise implies SL is so sort of village idiot, which most clearly he is not.

Not sure if SL is just trying to calm down the expectation and rush for a new appointment, but sure they are keen to do a swift process and results on the pitch could put even more pressure on this. We will have the list from the summer, which we will know who is of any interest or not, there will also be some names that were not available then who can be approached and maybe by opening up can see if any new or unexpected applicants come forward. MA and his team will evaluate to reduce to a manageable short list, based upon SL's thoughts and any strategy that now may have changed from before. 

As long as we do not go down, DH  appointment may end being a good thing, as proven more than ever the investment in quality management is required and I can see a good appointment being made with reins to develop and take us forward.

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1 hour ago, Moments of Pleasure said:

Billionaire finds people say only nice things to him and things he likes to hear about what he does - who knew?

Either Steve is disingenuous or fibbing here, or clueless; if it's the latter, no wonder he "reads" people wrong, like Coppell. I would suggest getting Mrs L involved in the meetngreet part, women being far superior to men at sussing what others are about. Seriously. 

This forum might be a repetitive, gormless pit of resentment and vituperation most of the time but there's enough useful and nuanced feedback on here if you look for it for a bloke too used to people telling him how tremendous he is to his face (as most of us would likely do, were we to meet him in person).

 

Gormless Pit of Resentment.......are one of my favourite bands

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 SL has upgraded and overseen the continual development of all aspects of the club, within FFS rules. The dilemma now is the role of the “Manager”. With control of clubs moving to owners or Corporates things have changed. Never again will we see Managers signing players working deals with other Managers etc. Their overall power is gone. The new City coach will have to fit into the job description given to him. The working facilities he/she will be given will be excellent. The candidates will know the score if they apply. 

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I can’t believe how much BS I’ve read on here this morning. Quite a few posters clearly need to have a good long look in the mirror and have stern words with themselves. 

First, very good to see SL come out and front up.  Most owners would never do that and it’s good to see that he’s the one in charge and he’s taking responsibility for the DH mistake.  What I get from the interview in terms of MA is that he’s in a supporting role, not the one having the final say.  SL even I think mentioned MA doing the donkey work. 
 

If SL says our club is sustainable then of course it is - hes the one who clearly understands the financial situation and he’s the one putting the money in ffs. 
 

To read a lot of the posts on here, anyone would think it’s easy to find and get the right manager in who’s going to take us to the premier league.  Yeah right, and I’m Father Christmas and there’s Rudolph. It took Liverpool about 20 years to find Klopp after all their previous success,for example, and they’re massive.  Blah, fed up of waiting, wah wah, had enough,, boohoo want to have my cake and eat it right now or I’m going to throw my toys right out of the pram!  We’re Bristol City ffs, slowly but sustainably growing into a successful club.  Okay, so they’ve made a big mistake with Dean and maybe they kept LJ in for too long, but I like the way they look to the long term and give the manager every chance to be a success.  Especially after the last cock up, they more than ever to get the next appointment right and that could take a few weeks.  I know we’ve seen it before but they’re learning and developing and when they do get the right person, we will move up to the next level and have a good chance of staying there because the foundations are solid - stadium, academy, financial backing and yes even recruitment sometimes! 
 

It’s good that they are listening to fans through the forums - they cant get the match day interaction at the moment so they are clearly monitoring social media more closely. . Of course SL doesn’t do that himself..   He and MA have will have Communications people at the club  doing that and reporting back to them.  That’s very welcome that they are taking account of what’s being said, especially as it must be pretty uncomfortable right now. 
 

Mistakes have certainly been made but long term I’m optimistic that overall we’re on the right track. We’re fortunate that we have an owner who while certainly not perfect  (who is?) is basically honest, cares about and is committed to the club. 
 

 



 

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27 minutes ago, maxjak said:

As soon as i heard SL say  that Ashton will be entrusted with assessing and interviewing the applicants, and drawing up a short list, my heart sank.

 

Ashton producing his short-list hs been and will be the problem. He has probably excluded and will exclude anyone that he perceives as a possible threat to his position.

Lansdown needs to see the long-list of everyone suitable/available and ask Ashton to explain why certain managers/head coaches were excluded from the short-list.

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As a supporter of 67 years, and seen us get to the top tier once before I really don't think I will see us reach the prem in my time but I feel it's about time we put all the turds on the table and sorted them out. WE CANNOT KEEEP DOING MORE OF THE SAME AND EXPECT SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

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32 minutes ago, Daniro said:

i hope you're right.    Nice enough fellow, but he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer.   

 When asked why we appointed yet another Assisant as Head Coach when we've tried it and failed with it so many times, he basically seems to say the "machine" they've built to support the role is so good that it doesn't really matter as much who you appoint.     maybe he was just nervous.

 

That's a rather cutting remark. Might explain why his loyalties were split when we played the Blades in the FA Cup.

 

By "machine" does he mean the robotic football we've endured, especially recently.

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My overriding feeling is we can debate the hidden meanings of what SL has said - but for me - it all will boil down to one thing and that’s who he appoints next.

We know DH and that process was a shocker. 

We know, despite all good intentions, some elements in the way the club is run need a shake up.

So, does SL really see that? We will know when the next man or woman comes in.

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14 minutes ago, SouthS22 said:

I can’t believe how much BS I’ve read on here this morning. Quite a few posters clearly need to have a good long look in the mirror and have stern words with themselves. 

First, very good to see SL come out and front up.  Most owners would never do that and it’s good to see that he’s the one in charge and he’s taking responsibility for the DH mistake.  What I get from the interview in terms of MA is that he’s in a supporting role, not the one having the final say.  SL even I think mentioned MA doing the donkey work.

 

Look in the mirror? Like Holden did?  Let me reflect on that.

Donkey work? The word "ass" springs to mind. Mind you the carrot that's dangled in front of him, is a big, fat, juicy one.

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7 minutes ago, Bazooka Joe said:

.

Lansdown needs to see the long-list of everyone suitable/available and ask Ashton to explain why certain managers/head coaches were excluded from the short-list.

I'd be surprised if that's not what happens. And possibly one or two tweaks made as a result. We'll never know that level of detail, and rightly so.

But like it or not Lansdown clearly trusts Ashton, they both have the same understanding of the club's strategy, so it's likely that on the whole Ashton will give an explanation for those who are excluded that Lansdown will recognise as being reasonable and sensible. 

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12 hours ago, Ska Junkie said:

Agreed Lrrr. Maybe he was applying but Wigan were holding him to his contract? Pure guesswork but judging by the cook interview posted on here yesterday, he walked away to save the club money but was still under contract.

Could it be that he was applying but couldn't actually fulfil any role until the contract situation was sorted with Wigan / the administrators? I may be totally wrong as it's pure conjecture.

Perhaps he had a little chat with ashton saying hes now theoretically available now his contract situation has been addressed? Which prompted dean to be removed and not be given the time johnson was

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11 minutes ago, Peter Coles said:

As a supporter of 67 years, and seen us get to the top tier once before I really don't think I will see us reach the prem in my time but I feel it's about time we put all the turds on the table and sorted them out. WE CANNOT KEEEP DOING MORE OF THE SAME AND EXPECT SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

Indeed! And how many real stars have passed through our club in that time? A handful? But how many people have we made wealthy in the quest for the top flight? Countless

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Good to hear SL’s current thinking.

The culture will not change with a new appointment.

Well we have not finished top 6 over recent years, so why not?

Is it too too difficult to analyse the reasons why not? Is it down to a degree of stubborness which means we are not flexible enough to make the appropriate changes?

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52 minutes ago, S_C said:

Thought it was more a PR exercise than an interview, to be honest.

That isn’t a criticism, it was a strong update that, judging from the majority of comments, did exactly what it was designed to do - extend a reassuring olive branch to fans.

What struck me most was not any single comment (though there were clearly a few telling ones re structure etc), it was the unnecessary level of detail early in the piece. When discussing Holden’s departure there was plenty of explanation that, quite frankly, didn’t need to be there. We’ve all seen it unfold, play has been largely poor all season culminating in the recent nose dive. Lansdown didn’t need to go into detail (or certainly not as much) as to why Holden was removed, I found it revealing that he did, concluding it to be an attempt to pull fans away from the perhaps growing feeling that he (and others) are not ‘football people’.

In assessing our plight he spoke like a fan would speak more than a boss parting with a much loved employee. I’m not cynical enough to suggest he isn’t a fan / it’s all constructed, but it certainly seemed to me that it was very intentionally designed to build bridges.

I also came away feeling it confirmed he, ultimately, has the final say. Whether morally bound or as a businessman seeking to protect what he sees as an asset he took the bullet for Ashton. Of course there are already plenty of posts subtly retreating from the view that Holden was Ashton’s man, onto the safer hill of Ashton manipulating the selection process to ensure his evil deeds materialise.. It was interesting that he spoke about being more involved in the process and stuttered when discussing Jon. As others have touched on, you wonder if there are divisions, if it’s become/becoming clear that Jon won’t be the man to lead the club and this is Steve repositioning himself, temporarily or not. In one fell swoop he is taking the blame for Holden being appointed yet inferring through being more involved in the process that the same thing won’t happen again. 

If anyone thinks Jon Lansdown wanted to appoint Dean Holden then I urge you to rewatch his first {minute and a half} interview post appointment (below), I remember laughing at the time and it's hard not to now. Additionally, it amazes me how many people will happily call Ashton a ‘suit’ or ‘snake in the grass’ then bulk at the idea that he’ll continue taking his wage through carrying out decisions made at a higher level. If I’m getting paid 500k a year and my boss, knowing better than anyone else, is happy with the work I’m doing, then people can think what they like. How many times does it need to be discussed, this is Lansdown's club. Lansdown is the boss, the employer. Ashton needs to be able to say 'No, I think you've got this wrong', maybe he does, maybe he doesn't, but it's pretty unavoidable that Ashton has been employed to carry out a remit that, in his employers eyes, he's doing a pretty good job of. I’m not suggesting Ashton is an angel who doesn’t and shouldn’t have his performance evaluated, and I don't think it's unfair to conclude that his presence at the club is, in some ways, a hinderance, but it’s inescapable he’s become the convenient fall guy rather than question the man bankrolling the clubs existence.

Whether we like it or not Lansdown (and Ashton) have a very clear idea of how the club will run. He mentioned not destroying what ‘we’ built very deliberately and, his tone in doing so, spells out exactly why certain high calibre candidates wouldn’t come here. The word I wanted to hear in that interview which I didn’t (please correct me if I’m wrong) was ‘flexible’. I want to know that whilst a McCarthy, Hughton, Warnock may never fit in here (as things are), that a Cook, Wagner, Howe might. That the club are open to examine the way they do things without clutching it too tightly in fear that an adjustment here and there may burn it to the ground. Evolution is key. I just hope Lansdown is open-minded enough to allow tweaks for Cook that Appleton wouldn't require.

 

Good post. 

I suspect there's one change to the strategy that they already know they need to come to terms with, and that's the ambition to promote from within. When Holden was appointed I wasn't surprised - indeed I had been one of several posters on here warning the 'Johnson out' brigade to be careful what they wished for because they'd be getting Jamie Mac or Dean Holden in his place. And the reasons for that was that the club had been making it clear for ages that was the strategy.

But this time round I honestly don't think they have any internal options. So they have to come to terms with the reality of an 'outsider', so someone who will need to convince them that they can operate within the strategy, but at the same time you'd hope that SL, MA and co would be open to the possibility that the new man or woman could also provide the opportunity for some new ideas and maybe some ways of making the strategy better.

I've  said elsewhere that I wonder whether the last few months of his tenure saw LJ becoming disillusioned with some aspects of how the 'buy cheap sell high' strategy was playing out. Losing Webster and then Brownhill when he did - quite suddenly, late in the day, no time to build anything around replacements - I think he found hard to accept, despite his overall willingness to work within the strategy. Obviously I've no idea what went on internally at the time.

So, I'd competetely agree that there are some potential candidates who are so far removed from what the club is trying to do that they are non starters. But that there are some that may buy into what we're trying to do, but have their own ideas about how that could work better and that SL/MA would be open to that. 

People talk about the club wanting a 'yes man'. It's a bit of a perjorative term that's often used lazily. Of course it would be good to have someone who comes with fresh ideas and will contribute to improving how we do things and not just do what s/he is told.  Indeed, at that level in any organisation you'd expect that. But there's no point bringing in someone who so fundamentally disagrees with the strategy that they will constantly be at loggerheads with the owner and the CEO, that's just a recipe for disaster. 

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11 hours ago, BS4 on Tour... said:

Fair enough, appreciate the reply, but not sure what you mean, our home crowd just doesn’t do ‘toxic’ - if you think our version of ‘toxic’ is a few disgruntled murmurings aimed at the bench then you are spot on ...

Depends where you sit as to what what you’ve seen. I’ve seen some seriously heated arguments and even punches thrown over LJ and the atmosphere / comments around him - I’d call that ‘toxic’. If you want to relate it to what happens in Italy then that’s your prerogative, but it’s not really a fair comparison imho. Our fan cultures are nowhere near the same - we don’t have ultras who are run by the mafia or who have extreme right sympathies running our fan base, who are in turn happy to intimidate the club. All matters of opinion and like I say relative.   

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