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Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Thursday, 29 October 2009

Brown defiant despite Duffen exit

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Players a million percent behind me - Brown

Hull City boss Phil Brown is confident of keeping his job despite the departure of chairman Paul Duffen from the struggling Premier League club.

Speaking at a news conference after Duffen resigned on Thursday, Brown said: "It doesn't affect my position.

"My players are a million per cent behind me and will hopefully show that against Burnley on Saturday."

The Tigers were forced to deny this week that Brown had been sacked following a run of poor results.

Hull assistant boss Brian Horton, though, suggested that not every play will be behind Brown.

"Some will, some won't," Horton told BBC Radio 5 live. "If you've got 20-30 odd players you can't keep everybody happy.

"The 11 we put out on Saturday, we expect them to perform. The one or two who are left out, they're not happy because they want to play football."

Former Hull chairman Adam Pearson has been linked with a return to the KC Stadium to replace Duffen after he stood down as Derby chairman on Wednesday.

Duffen was part of a consortium that bought Hull from Pearson in June 2007 - and the club were promoted to the Premier League the following season.

Hull made an impressive start to the 2008/09 season but have struggled since the beginning of the year and, having just avoided relegation last term, lie 18th in the table.

A statement from the Tigers said: "The club has received a letter of resignation from Paul Duffen, executive chairman of Hull City AFC and Superstadium Management Company Ltd, which has been accepted and is effective immediately.

"The club wishes to express its gratitude to Paul for his outstanding contribution as chairman during a period of unprecedented success for Hull City AFC."

Duffen made his own statement, which read: "When I succeeded Adam Pearson as chairman of Hull City Football Club in June 2007 I was very aware of the responsibility to build on his legacy.

"I articulated an intention to take the Tigers to the previously uncharted waters of the Premier League and, to the eternal credit of the players and coaching staff, that seemingly ridiculous ambition was achieved 11 months later thanks to a victorious debut appearance at Wembley in the play-off final.

"The start to our maiden top-flight campaign broke all previous records for a newly promoted side and ensured that 2008 will forever be remembered as the most remarkable year in Hull City's history.

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"Football is a results business and in the same way that I enjoyed the successes of the previous two seasons, so I must take ultimate responsibility for the disappointments of 2009."

Hull say they have started the search for Duffen's successor and their statement continued: "The recruitment process has commenced in respect of the appointment of a new executive chairman and a further statement in relation to this will be issued by the club on Monday 2 November."

Brown was guarded when he faced the media a few hours after Duffen's departure and he began his press conference with a prepared statement.

The Tigers boss said: "In reference to the earlier announcement about Paul Duffen, I'd like to say we have had tremendous unprecedented success during his time at the club and I would personally like to thank him for all his support.

"But unfortunately football has and always will be about change. We have to adapt to it and we have to respond to it and, like in a game of football, the quicker you do, the better for your team.

"We have a big game on Saturday to prepare for and that is my sole purpose at this moment in time. I cannot and will not respond to ridiculous speculation surrounding the business of this football club, whether it be reference to the accounts or the replacement of Paul."

The support of Paul Duffen was there for everybody to see and that has gone now. What's around the corner, you can only guess and time will tell who his replacement is

Phil Brown

Brown did admit that the turmoil at board level has affected him, saying: "It's one where you have to get your head down and get on with it.

"It's a part of this job. As far as I'm concerned, speculation has been rife since I arrived at this club and no more so than in the last 24 hours but it is something that you have to get on with.

But he added: "I've spoke long and hard with Paul Duffen and (City's majority shareholder) Russell Bartlett in the last couple of days. He is in extensive talks with a replacement and something will be announced after the game on Saturday.

"It doesn't affect me in terms of my position as has been made reference to by Russell Bartlett in conversations I have had with him in the last 24 hours."

However, Brown remains under pressure given his side's poor form and some bookmakers have stopped taking bets on him being the first Premier League manager to leave his job this season.

He was booed by Hull fans during the draw with bottom club Portsmouth last weekend and, with his team in the relegation zone, faces a key match at Turf Moor.

Brown added: "The support of Paul Duffen was there for everybody to see and that has gone now. What's around the corner, you can only guess and time will tell who his replacement is.

"I don't think his departure was down to results, it was down to the business of football. It's difficult to separate the two but you have to to run a business as well as a football club. I run the football side of things and I remain in charge for the game on Saturday."

Brown refused to answer further questions about his own future, repeating: "I am only here to talk to you about the game against Burnley."

Accountants Deloitte also revealed this week that the club needed £23m "to meet current liabilities".

If Hull were to be relegated, losing the £7m they get from their top-flight status would be a major blow.

The figures cover the year before Hull's first Premier League campaign and the directors insist the financial situation has improved since then.



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