Brown Interview

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  • #7145
    North Stand UTC
    • Posts: 28
    • South Stander
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    Great interview James, first real interview regarding the inner workings of the club. Interesting that SOC was involved in signings, I always thought he was hands on but in the last few years, he had very little influence.

     

    He is, Betts deserves credit for his time at the club. From 2013-2016, our form was better than expected.

    #7146
    jaws123
    • Posts: 13
    • Kemik’s Assistant
    • ☆☆

    Where is it.

    #7150
    sunny
    • Posts: 97
    • Time to get a VIQI
    • ☆☆☆☆

    Brown certainly rated Betts as a coach.

    #7151
    ma
    • Posts: 44
    • South Stander
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    It was a good listen.

    Kevin didn’t choose to leave or instigate it but i still think he grabbed the opportunity. From what he was saying, I dont blame him to be fair (although I wouldn’t have joined Wire) as he could see, as all fans did, that the quality of the squad was on the decline as were the finances and prospects.

    I think there’s still loads more he could’ve and wanted to say but he is too respectful to say it all (I’d buy his autobiography once he’s finished up, even if only to read what he says about Jimmy).

    I heard an interview a few years ago on 5 Live where he said, while its been great to be coached by Wayne Bennett, he said Betts was right up there for his man management. Brown reckons Betts could have kept us up. Was it right to let Betts go? I still think yes as I dont think he could have kept us up. I think the squad we had at the time had hard workers but had too many weaknesses and whoever took over stood no chance of keeping us up no matter who was in charge – we had to try something.

    #7153
    MT
    • Posts: 167
    • North Stander
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    Sacking Betts at the time it was done was a horrendous and idiotic decision regardless of whether you rated him or not.

    We still had to pay him off and his assistant was left to do the job single handed, something he clearly wasn’t up to.  There’s a strong chance we would have gone down anyway, removing the coach with no replacement lined up ensured our fate.

     

    #7154
    CJ91
    • Posts: 488
    • First Teamer
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    Very insightful interview!

    Agree that if we had strengthened in the 2014-16 period things may have been different.

    Betts I think did well 2013-16 but his last 18 months and first 18 were bad. A fresh start at the end of 2017 for all concerned may have been best.

    Think that the interview shed more light on the failings of the management.

    #7155
    Royston Vasey
    • Posts: 98
    • Time to get a VIQI
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    Sacking Betts at the time it was done was a horrendous and idiotic decision regardless of whether you rated him or not. We still had to pay him off and his assistant was left to do the job single handed, something he clearly wasn’t up to. There’s a strong chance we would have gone down anyway, removing the coach with no replacement lined up ensured our fate.

    Just another lack of good management by the people running the club at the time.Getting rid of a coach before they had a better option in place. Mind you, I’m saying this with the benefit of hindsight and I have to say I was not sad that he left at the time.

    #7157
    jaws123
    • Posts: 13
    • Kemik’s Assistant
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    Where can I listen to it

    #7159
    Frankg
    • Posts: 386
    • First Teamer
    • ☆☆☆☆☆☆

    Where can I listen to it

    I managed to pick it up by opening the podcast link at the top of the page and then clicking on the itunes link where it says Available on … I am no tech wizard but it worked for me. Presumably, James will add a link to the podcast, as he did for the Finney interview.

    I found both the interview with Simon Finnegan and Jack Owens and the interview with Kevin Brown interesting and well worth a listen. Finnegan and Owens clearly rate Adam Lawton and have confidence that he will fulfil his potential with Widnes.

    Brown’s interview clarified and confirmed a number of things about his transfer. He was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement by Rule and that is why he has not spoken out before. I am sure that he has other things he could say about the management of the club at the time.

    He enjoyed his time at Widnes and would have been happy to stay. He thought that with the addition of a couple of players, the team could have been competitive in SL. Instead, the club were losing players and not replacing them and bringing in young players who were not ready for SL. The first he knew about his proposed transfer was when Betts rang him to tell him that Rule had agreed a fee with Warrington. At the end of the day, in my view, he had little choice. Stay with a club in financial trouble who were quite happy to let him go, or join a club with the chance of winning trophies. He confirmed that the club received a fee of £400,000 that probably delayed Administration for 18 months – or enabled the Directors to continue to take their inflated salaries.

    He rates Betts as a coach and suggests that he was let down (probably there is a better phrase) by the club’s management, through lack of investment. I agree. He considers that the club would not have been relegated if Betts had remained. I am not convinced of that argument, as the team was clearly not good enough and confidence was shattered at that stage. My guess is that the decision to get rid of Betts at that stage, whilst continuing to pay him, was more to do with having a scapegoat for the club’s failings and diverting attention from the mismanagement of the club. Maybe if they had brought someone in like Sheens at that stage, they may have made a difference, but we will never know

    #7160
    North Stand UTC
    • Posts: 28
    • South Stander
    • ☆☆☆

    Very insightful interview! Agree that if we had strengthened in the 2014-16 period things may have been different. Betts I think did well 2013-16 but his last 18 months and first 18 were bad. A fresh start at the end of 2017 for all concerned may have been best. Think that the interview shed more light on the failings of the management.

     

    The interview confirmed two thoughts I have always suspected. Firstly, the players from 2013-2016 had an unbelievable bond and utterly loved playing for the club, that bond was probably broken at the end of 2016. Secondly, Brown confirmed Betts was very easy on the players. Now some may argue whether another coach who was tougher could have potentially got more out of the players but then you may lose that spirt at the club.

    All in all, 13-16 was a good time to be a Widnes fan, probably the best time since the early 90s, I could not fathom why they was so much negativity surrounding  the team, more depth and we could have crashed top 4.

    I think Brown is right about “wanting to win games rather than not wanting to lose”, I remember when we played saints in the league away on a friday, for 65 minutes we played incredible rugby, going to toe-to-toe and leading but sadly, we lost 3 tries in the last 15 minutes. I was proud to be a Widnes fan that night, big away following that had the place rocking, Players busting a gut who cared about the club while playing attractive rugby.

     

    I really felt, we was 1-2 signings away from going somewhere.

    #7163
    James
    • Posts: 227
    • First Teamer
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    I really enjoyed doing the interview, and had been itching to do something for a good few years, ever since speaking to Brown at his first press commitment at Warrington. Clearly the circumstances at the club have helped in making it a bit clearer now.

    I’d agree with the post earlier that it wasn’t appreciated just how good those years (2013-16) were; it will likely be a very long time til we even get close to that again.

    #7190
    SinbadSinbad
    • Posts: 288
    • First Teamer
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    Did I read this correctly – £400,000 for Kevin Brown ? Or is that a typo.Not listened to it yet.

    #7194
    Frankg
    • Posts: 386
    • First Teamer
    • ☆☆☆☆☆☆

    Did I read this correctly – £400,000 for Kevin Brown ? Or is that a typo.Not listened to it yet.

    Not a typo – he said we got £400,000, which was a figure bandied about at the time. Brown said that it could have been used to bring in players or pay off some of the debt, but seems to have been used to continue paying the inflated salaries of Rule and Co.

    It would be interesting to hear Betts’ side of the story.

    #7195
    North Stand UTC
    • Posts: 28
    • South Stander
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    No, it was the fee and saving on wages.

    #7201
    SinbadSinbad
    • Posts: 288
    • First Teamer
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    Not having it, £400k is way off the scale.No way would any club have paid that much for a 32 year old Kevin Brown.Not even Brown at 27.He was a good player but he was no Thurston or Lockyer.Not even those two would have commanded such a fee.

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