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Shrews Chief Executive "Disappointed" By Town's "Illegal Approach" for Hurst
Tuesday, 29th May 2018 10:02

Shrewsbury chief executive Brian Caldwell has hit out at Town for what he says was an “illegal approach” for his club’s manager Paul Hurst. Caldwell says he expects Hurst’s move to the Blues is now a fait accompli with his assistant Chris Doig set to join him at Portman Road.

In a lengthy interview with BBC Radio Shropshire, Caldwell made his frustrations known and outlined how events unfolded yesterday.

“I got a call yesterday morning at 10 to 10 from Paul’s agent, which was a bit of a surprise to be honest with you, saying that he’s had an approach from Ipswich wanting to speak to him,” he said.

“In the meantime, by 10 to 10, he’d spoken to Paul and Paul had intimated that he would like to talk to Ipswich.

“We found out after that and that’s actually, I’ve got be honest, that’s actually an illegal approach.”

Caldwell admits the news came as no shock in the wake of Sunday’s League One play-off defeat to Rotherham and with the Town move having been expected for some while, TWTD having reported that talks following the play-off final were likely to be a formality.

“I don’t think it was a surprise,” he added. “I think we were all bracing ourselves because of all the speculation. I’ve had a running commentary from some of the papers over what’s been happening at Ipswich in the last couple of weeks.

“While I’m not saying it’s a surprise, it’s still disappointing less than 24 hours after what had happened on Sunday and to get a call from the agent rather than Ipswich themselves was probably even more disappointing because I just don’t think that’s the right way to go about it.”

Could Hurst have been persuaded to stay with the Shrews? “I think Paul is probably the only one who could answer that but my personal feeling is that it’s been on the cards for the last couple of weeks no matter what, that’s my own personal feeling.”

He added: “I just felt at the time that perhaps Ipswich came, it’s a bigger club than Shrewsbury let’s not be kidded, and that’s no disrespect to us.

“There’ll always be a bit more money involved in it no matter what, so he obviously wanted to talk to them yesterday morning when I got the call from his agent.

“Things then moved on from there. I had a couple of calls with their owner at Ipswich [Marcus Evans], who straight away seemed to know that Chris Doig (pictured above) was going as well.

“The approach has been for the two of them, which surprised me a wee bit as well because I didn’t actually expect them to know if they haven’t actually spoken to them that he would want Chris Doig as the assistant, but the whole compensation package involves the two of them.”

Caldwell says Hurst’s switch to the Blues is now just a formality: “Basically, I’m sure the contract is probably in place already. It’s just a bit of a waiting game now until we get that final confirmation from Ipswich that everything’s been agreed.”

He says the clubs hadn’t planned to release the news of Town’s approach last night, after compensation had been agreed, but they became aware it was going to leak.

While Doig is joining Hurst at Town, goalkeeper-coach Danny Coyne isn’t part of the deal, the former Wales international having discovered the news from Twitter.

Caldwell admits he’s not been pleased with the manner of Hurst's exit and made that known to the Blues.

“I’ve got to say I was a disappointed and I told Ipswich that yesterday,” he said. “I’m disappointed just with the way it’s panned out.

“I do believe, I’ve got to say, that in the last couple of weeks there’s probably been stuff going on behind the scenes.

“Again, I get football, in football there’s a lot of things behind the scenes and a lot of things behind people’s backs, but sometimes you’re looking for a bit of loyalty.

“I always treat everybody the way I would [like to be treated] myself and if something came in for me personally I would be straight. If there’s been something going on behind the scenes for the last couple of weeks that would be disappointing.”

Does he feel Hurst hasn’t been as open as he might have been? “I think it’s difficult and he’s been in a difficult position over the last couple of weeks if there has been anything going on.

"The last thing he wants to do as admit something has been going on behind the scenes because potentially it would be an illegal approach.

“Even that yesterday morning first thing, taking a call from the agent rather than Ipswich, was again disappointing.

“But that’s football for you, you just have to get on with it and we just have to move on to the next step. We’re all used to it, we’ve all got experience of it, so we take it on the chin and move on.”

As TWTD reported last night, Hurst, who is currently on holiday in Dubai, could be formally appointed the new Town boss as soon as today.

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robmonkey007 added 10:06 - May 29
It’s always classed an as illegal approach when they’re actually just trying to scrape as many pennies out of a club as they can.

kizaitfc added 10:09 - May 29
I imagine it was more of the agent talking behind backs as opposed to us speaking to Hurst, seemed as though we were trying to do things correctly so be surprised if we ballsed it up at the last minute

carlo88 added 10:11 - May 29
If he does well no doubt we'll have Marcus saying the same things in a couple of years.

Barty added 10:13 - May 29
Sour grapes I think !!

RoyalAscotBlue added 10:13 - May 29
The nature of the beast unfortunately. At the end of the day people will always look after their own best interests when it comes to employment opportunities. I suspect that ME did a deal with PH about a month ago. Remember when he told us when the new appointment would be made...

Contracts in Football are just a load of nonsense really. Mind you, when Players/Managers fail to perform the contracts DO seem to count. Gotta feel sorry for all the club owners and chairmen really.

MoscowBlueMule added 10:13 - May 29
I thought Town here had behaved impeccably and gentlemanly! We could have approached and pushed as soon as MM left 8 weeks ago, but didn’t. We waited patiently until the Shrews season was over. A dangerous ploy by the way; an unscrupulous club could have easily come in and gazumped us.

Well played Town and ME on this one.

Onwards and upwards!


PortmanTerrorist added 10:14 - May 29
For all the doubters, myself included, ME has shown he has got some b#lls with the holding of this and the result seems to be that he has (very nearly) got HIS man. Kudos ME.

Given this will be his first appointment that has pretty much everyone on side, we have to hope it now happens quickly, PH can get a couple of his boys over from Shrewsbury (def Nolan and maybe Nsiala) just as quickly, and let's have a productive close season ahead of an exciting 2018-19.


RoyalAscotBlue added 10:15 - May 29
Also... You do have to question how hard PH tried to win that game on Sunday? Was his heart really in it? Didn’t really matter one way or t’other to him.

BlueandTruesince82 added 10:17 - May 29
As previously said that's football. I have no issue with it provided one doesn't make a song and dance about principles first.

I have said during all the Ross paranoia that conversations would be taking place and Shrews are naive to think otherwise. I'm sure they will be sounding out some employed targets themselves very soon.

TheTrueBlue1878 added 10:17 - May 29
Like we were going to leave all this to chance. Our no.1 target, and we weren’t going to speak to him privately. Reality check, this is real world business... not fairyland

SaigonTractor added 10:20 - May 29
What were we supposed to do? Wait a few more days just because Shrewsbury lost the playoffs? And he's playing dumb if he was surprised Hurst wants his assistant with him.

If Town and Hurst had been more open about it he'd be complaining about us unsettling them before the playoffs.

BaddowBlue1 added 10:25 - May 29
Isnt this what Agents do with footballers before the transfer is agreed, I would assume that Managers are no different. I think that this is Shrewsbury playing their side of things for their supporters sake. Will probably make for an awkward atmosphere at the Shrews when Doig and Hurst go to collect their things which is a shame when he has done so much for them. I remember Colchester saying the same things about Burley when he joined us.

PJewellisaGod added 10:26 - May 29
Could end up being a similar situation to Watford/Everton

PJewellisaGod added 10:27 - May 29
Actually, the above situation seems more complex

alfromcol added 10:34 - May 29
Looks very much like an illegal approach. Expect nothing less with an agent involved - cash into his bank when deal concluded.

ivegottheblues added 10:38 - May 29
Surely Marcus Evans wouldn't do anything illegal. Would he ?

cranky_old_tractor added 10:40 - May 29
Timing perfect.......thats business........move on........well done ME

Currie10 added 10:44 - May 29
While I like to know the comings and goings with all things I T F C I'm not sure it's really in our best interest as a club to be releasing information on here about who it's likely to be.

Best way for us to achieve as a club is to block the wholes and unite instead of leaking information.

skusesrightpeg added 10:45 - May 29
Its all set up

Paul Hurst signing his contract whilst showing off the brand new kit

SouperJim added 10:47 - May 29

Europablue added 10:50 - May 29
Probably technically an illegal approach, but it's basically protocol to judge interest before the formal approach is made. Morally it's fine to ask whether he would be interested and to what extent. As long as they didn't go into too much contractual detail.
We respected that Shrewsbury's season was not over yet, so we held off making contact.
The team might have been unsettled a little, but that wasn't the reason they lost in the final in extra time.

BlueBlood90 added 10:50 - May 29
Either way, does it really matter? He still would've joined us whether we approached them first or not. Hopefully this gets announced today. Sick to death of this whole situation and can't wait to finally have this confirmed.

floridaboy added 10:51 - May 29
RoyalAscotBlue, didn't realise Hurst was playing Sunday! He put out his strongest side and they lost to a better team. That's football I am sorry to say. Absolutely nothing to do with Hurst and the Town job

Think Shrews chairman is trying to say on side with the fans who obviously are going to be a bit ticked off. He is getting compensation so get over it.

If he is unhappy then go to the FA with his allegations. Talking to an agent is not an offence!!

nthstd added 10:55 - May 29
Which act of parliament stipulates the legal method by which to approach any manager? If its a football rule, stop using the term "illegal". Really do think that the verbals clubs come out with regarding their managers is so much hot air. They will be getting a wedge of cash. So what if the bloke wants to further his career with a larger club, good on him. Loathe any employer who handcuffs any employee and prevents them having a go at a greater opportunity.

JewellintheTown added 11:02 - May 29
Didnt think ITFC needed to notify Shrewsbury before approaching him directly, like you would a player.

I'm sure ME will have sought legal advice either way or known what to do/ not to do that he can and can't get away with. Compensation either way, but this sounds like a shallow push for more compensation by Caldwell.

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