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Club Statement

Posted: Tue 17 Feb 2015
Author: Brentford FC

Brentford FC release club statement outlining changes to football management.

Brentford Football Club would like to update supporters on planned changes to the football management to come in to effect from the end of the season.
Club Owner Matthew Benham has met with Sporting Director Frank McParland, Manager Mark Warburton and Assistant Manager David Weir and the Club has reached agreement on terms for their departure. 
The board, with Matthew’s approval, has made the decision that the trio will leave Brentford at the end of the 2014/15 season.
Mark and David will continue to work with the first-team on a day-to-day basis through to the end of the season – with the support and backing of Matthew and the Club’s Board – as Brentford push for promotion to the Premier League.
Matthew, a Brentford fan since 1979, who has owned the majority shareholding in the Club since June 2012, has decided to make changes in order to ensure the long-term prosperity of the Club.
Matthew and members of the Board have been in discussions with Manager Mark Warburton and other football staff about the future direction of the Club for many weeks, prior to stories appearing in the media last week.
As part of a remodelling of the Club’s football management, a Head Coach will be appointed to work alongside a new Sporting Director.
There will also be a new recruitment structure using a mixture of traditional scouting and other tools including mathematical modelling.
As part of the new recruitment structure, the Head Coach will have a strong input in to the players brought in to the Club but not an absolute veto.
The club wish to implement these changes in time for the next transfer window that opens this summer and to best ensure a smooth transition to the new recruitment model current Sporting Director Frank McParland has been placed on gardening leave.
The club want the new structure to be a long-term way of working which is independent of whoever is in the Head Coach role.
Frank, Mark and David have decided, following long discussions with Matthew that they feel unable to work under the changed structure and approach as it differs from their football philosophy.
Matthew Benham said: “I am a passionate Brentford fan and every decision I take is intended to be in the best long term interests of the Club.
“Some of the decisions taken to date have been easy and some, like this one, have been extremely hard.
Cliff Crown, Chairman of Brentford FC said: “Lots of clubs are criticised for short term thinking – we want to take a long term view and put structures in place that both  the Board and the owner believe will be to the benefit of Brentford FC for years to come.
“The new structure is unusual in English football, although commonplace in other European countries and in other sports.
“We would have loved for Mark to stay, working within the new structure, but he feels that this is not right for him. 
“We understand that completely and had to weigh up the benefits of the new structure against losing a fantastically successful manager before taking this decision.
“Recent press articles made it impossible to continue orderly discussions in private about the next steps for the Club. 
“We regret this happening and fully appreciate that the uncertainty and often inaccurate speculation has been unsatisfactory for fans. 
“We must now focus totally on the remainder of the season.
Matthew Benham also said: “Under Mark’s stewardship, Brentford have achieved a high league position and played football which is a joy to watch.
 “It is difficult to seek to implement change, particularly when things appear to be going so well, but I am single minded in my resolve that we can leave no stone unturned in our quest for sustainable Premier League Football.  
“Innovation, not increased funding, can be the only route to success for clubs such as ours, and I fully accept that innovation is never without risk.   
“We are continuing to build a strong base for the future.
“Everything has been perfectly amicable between all parties and we remain friends.”
Mark Warburton said: “I will be forever grateful to Matthew for giving me the opportunity to be Manager of this fantastic Football Club and for what he has done for the Club since I have been here.
“It has been an absolute honour and a privilege to do the job and I have had the pleasure of working with a fantastic group of players and staff and have enjoyed the backing of a magnificent set of supporters.
“While I am disappointed that we have been unable to reconcile some key philosophical differences, I’m relieved we now have clarity.  
“In my remaining time at the Club we shall move heaven and earth to get the promotion that the players, fans and Matthew deserve and going forward, I wish the club every success in its ongoing adventure.  
“I have enormous respect for Matthew and his investment in the Club and he has the absolute right to run the club in the manner he deems most appropriate and beneficial.
 “I have the privilege of managing an outstanding group of players, a group which has demonstrated a work ethic, a harmony and no shortage of quality.
“David and I, and indeed all the staff, remain totally focussed  on supporting this squad of players and ensuring they are best prepared for each and every remaining fixture this season.
“Please be absolutely reassured that nothing will detract from our work for Brentford Football Club between now and the end of the season.”