22 May 2024

Rosenior sacking ‘has thrown everything into chaos’

By William Young, To Hull and Back Podcast

Hello, readers. This was originally going to be a match report on City’s final game of the season away at Plymouth Argyle.

So, here it goes: Plymouth avoided relegation to League One with a 1-0 victory over the Tigers, Joe Edwards heading the only goal in the first half to end City’s season on a bit of a downer – but it was a season that had shown plenty of promise and improvement, going forward into next season, with young manager Liam Rosenior at the helm.

Unfortunately, at around 1.50pm on Tuesday, May 7, reports were coming out that Liam Rosenior had been sacked.

Soon it spread like wildfire across social media, and a couple of hours later, after almost every source had reported it, Hull City officially confirmed that Rosenior had left the club.

In that statement, chairman and owner Acun Ilıcalı said: “This has been the most difficult decision I have had to make as chairman of this wonderful football club. No matter how trying the circumstance, I have to remove personal sentiment from these moments and ensure the long- term vision of the club is at the centre of my thinking.

“Since Liam’s arrival, we have enjoyed an open working relationship and progress has undoubtedly been made over the course of his tenure. He will always be a part of this family and I thank him for all his work.

“However, it has become evident that our visions for the future are not aligned and I feel that now is the time to make a change. Our philosophy is clear – we will continue to drive this club forward, and while doing so I will continue to be open and transparent with our fans.”

Concerningly, there are a lot of similarities with the statement when Shota Arveladze was relieved of his duties 18 months ago – particularly on the “vision” of the club. The idea of “One Family, One Dream” rings hollow at the moment.

City finished seventh in the Championship, finishing just short of the play-off places on the final day of the season. Most City fans went into this season thinking that a play-off push was possible, but that a top 10 finish was good progress, so this decision has come as a massive shock to many. Acun himself had previously said earlier in the season that he would be happy to finish in the top 10, as well as rewarding Rosenior with a three-year contract back in December 2023.

When Rosenior arrived, the club was in somewhat of a mess following the Arveladze reign. City were 17th and fighting a relegation battle, which Rosenior steered the Tigers clear of, before turning things around from finishing 15th last season to seventh this term. It seemed that the club was in a good place, and the relationship between the owners and Rosenior were as good as that between him and the fans.

Going by social media, this decision has not been a popular one at all. A lot of vitriol has been aimed at Acun as well as Tan Kesler, City’s vice-chairman, asking for clarity on this decision. I and Gazette editor Sam spoke about it – we were both devastated and neither of us could really believe it at all. I personally have not felt as upset by a City manager departing as I have with Rosenior.

It feels very similar to the scenario that occurred back in 2012, when the Allams got rid of much-loved Nick Barmby from the manager’s chair. While that ended up with Steve Bruce coming in, it was controversial and a much-maligned move at the time.

Plenty of names have already been bandied about to replace Rosenior, with Steve Cooper, Will Still and Danny Röhl, among others, being suggested.

Ultimately, it has come as a huge surprise whichever way you look at it. Rosenior was nominated for the EFL Manager of the Season, and has taken City forward in leaps and bounds, albeit with a few hiccups. He’s also a man who was beloved by the fanbase, regardless of their opinions on his managerial abilities – and he in turn clearly loved that fanbase back. It’s the most stable the club has felt for years, and suddenly everything has been thrown into chaos.

It is such a shame to see things end this way, much earlier than anyone truly expected. Liam Rosenior, I am sure, will bounce back, and will have plenty of teams looking at him – he is a manager who I feel will certainly go far in this game, I just wish it was with us.

He clearly had a plan that was still in progress, and will now not be able to finish it. And most of all, he is a good person, and deserves all the love and respect he gets from City fans and much more.

Goodbye, Liam. We’ll miss you.