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Page last updated at 11:18 GMT, Thursday, 22 April 2010 12:18 UK

Hull chairman Adam Pearson admits worries over future

Adam Pearson
Pearson returned to Hull after a spell as Derby County chairman

Hull chairman Adam Pearson has reopened a row with his predecessor Paul Duffen and admitted his fears for the future of the financially troubled club.

The Tigers edged closer to relegation from the Premier League after Wednesday's 2-0 loss to Aston Villa.

Pearson accused Duffen of overspending and creating a "doomsday scenario".

"Of course the future is very tricky, it's bound to be when you consider the figures. The club desperately needs to stay in this league," said Pearson.

The club and Duffen settled a row over the club's finances out of court in February "to bring an end to all disputes between the parties".

But with Hull facing the prospect of dropping out of the top flight, Pearson again attacked Duffen's record while at the club in his programme notes ahead of the game against Villa.


"The club under Mr Duffen spent money it didn't have," added Pearson. "The prospect of relegation should not need to be the doomsday scenario that everyone currently discusses and worries about.

"The financial planning just needed a bit of basic strategy and common sense applying to it back in summer 2008 and even more so when the team survived on the last day of the season in 2009.

"In my personal opinion the decisions made by Mr Duffen at that point were extremely short-sighted."

Duffen issued a statement saying Hull had "one of the lowest squad wage bills in the Premier League and amongst the lowest levels of debt".

He added: "Hull City Football Club have been on an amazing journey over the past four years. The Tigers have travelled from the brink of Championship relegation to Premier League promotion via their first ever Wembley appearance.

"The successes were not achieved through financial muscle but through partnership, ambition, team spirit, collective positive attitude and a stubborn refusal to fail.

Paul Duffen
Duffen spent just over two years in charge of the Tigers

"I firmly believe that if those qualities remain at the club then Hull City have every chance of playing a third season in the Premier League and I wish them well."

Duffen took over from Pearson in June 2007 and led Hull into the top flight but he resigned in October 2009 with Pearson subsequently resuming his role at the club.

In January, Pearson claimed insufficient care had been taken over transfers and deals and launched legal proceedings against Duffen.

Duffen denied all the allegations against him at a preliminary hearing at the High Court and the two parties eventually settled out of court.

Hull are embroiled in a relegation battle and speaking to supporters through the match programme Pearson explained why Premier League survival was so important.

He wrote: "The problems which were apparent throughout 2009 should have been at the forefront of the summer transfer and business dealings. Instead, the wage bill was increased even further.

"The safety valve of pragmatic realism was cut off.

"This is not ambition or 'giving it a go' or 'living the dream', it is, in my personal view, poor business sense.

"Just under £6m spent on agents' fees in two years and the deal breakdown and size of agent payments is abhorrent. A wage bill of just under £40m when the club turnover is £50m in the Premier League.

"These figures, added to the significant transfer fees owed, clearly show that the maths don't add up."

At the time of Duffen's departure from Hull, a formal statement said the club wished "to express its gratitude to Paul for his outstanding contribution as chairman during a period of unprecedented success for Hull City AFC".

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see also
Hull receive Vennegoor scan boost
22 Apr 10 |  Hull
Hull 0-2 Aston Villa
21 Apr 10 |  Premier League
Hull settle dispute with Duffen
11 Feb 10 |  Hull
Hull City not for sale - Pearson
05 Jan 10 |  Hull
Hull chairman calls in auditors
04 Dec 09 |  Hull
Derby chairman Pearson exits club
28 Oct 09 |  Derby
Hull future 'could be in doubt'
28 Oct 09 |  Hull

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