Ex-Notts County owner Alan Hardy had no business plan when he took charge of the world’s oldest professional football club.
Hardy admits he had no business plan and was “seduced by the industry and success” in September’s issue of FourFourTwo magazine.
The childhood fan took over at Meadow Lane in 2017 before his turbulent reign as Magpies owner came to an end this summer as the world’s oldest professional football club was relegated from the Football League for the first time ever.
The businessman oversaw three managers last season as Harry Kewell and Neal Ardley were unable to turn things around following a poor start under Kevin Nolan and his departure within months of guiding the club to the play-offs.
Hardy tells fourfourtwo.com he was “incredibly unprepared” despite having successful local business ventures with Paragon Interiors and The Nottinghamshire Golf and Country Club on his CV.
“I’ll be honest and say, even with a decent amount of business experience behind me, it was a very steep learning curve,” he tells the magazine in a feature charting his reign.
“It happened very quickly, literally in four days from December 19 to Christmas, with the lawyers and accountants working over the holiday to complete the due diligence process.
“Arriving new into the club in January 2017, without a business plan or model to follow, was enormously challenging. Despite running multiple businesses, I was incredibly exposed and unprepared for what lay ahead.”
During his time at the helm, Notts spent big and challenged for promotion in 2018 before falling at the final hurdle. Hardy knows it came at a cost with one of the highest wage bills in League Two and it is something he’d do differently if he could start again.
“Control the finances more rigorously, without a doubt,” he admits. “I got seduced by the industry and chased success. I would [now] appoint a ‘transfer panel’, and be scientific and strategic in recruitment.
“Then appoint a head coach responsible for player motivation, training, tactics, formation and team selection – much like Spurs and top Premier League teams operate.”
He added: “Allowing a manager to bring in players at a whim was perhaps a mistake on my part.”
Image courtesy of Dan Westwell