WILDER’S SWITCH SHOWS COURAGE

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

PEO­PLE have looked at Chris Wilder’s de­ci­sion to swap a play-off slot at Ox­ford for a rel­e­ga­tion scrap at Northamp­ton and ex­pressed dis­be­lief at why some­body would make that switch. I do not know the an­swer. But I can guess: 1. It may be as sim­ple as £ notes; one job pays less, the other pays much more. 2. Northamp­ton is a lit­tle closer to his north­ern roots; per­haps it is a fam­ily is­sue of want­ing to cut the dis­tance be­tween ‘home’ and work. 3. He sees foot­balling po­ten­tial in Northamp­ton that he doesn’t see in Ox­ford. 4. It may be that he clashed with his Ox­ford chair­man and wanted to build a new re­la­tion­ship. 5. Maybe it was none of those rea­sons!

When I left the top six in League One at Steve­nage to join a mid-ta­ble club in Preston North End that had been rel­e­gated the sea­son be­fore and was spi­ralling down with 11 de­feats in 13, I did get more money. But I didn’t leave Steve­nage be­cause of that.

I got on well with my chair­man at Steve­nage and I was ab­so­lutely cer­tain we could have been pro­moted that sea­son for a third suc­ces­sive time.

My rea­son for go­ing was that I saw Preston as a club which could re­al­is­ti­cally progress into the Premier League. I felt that, given time , I was ca­pa­ble of do­ing the job that needed do­ing there.

That was all that drove me. I had to face the is­sue of Preston be­ing a 3.5 hour drive from home. But that was just an ob­sta­cle. Not a prob­lem.

What­ever Chris’ rea­sons, he should be con­grat­u­lated on be­ing brave enough to take on the chal­lenge.We both got our clubs pro­moted into the Foot­ball League in 2010.He will know the pain that rel­e­ga­tion from the Foot­ball League would cre­ate. To take that on is a coura­geous de­ci­sion and you have to re­spect him for that.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

MOVED CLUBS: Chris Wilder

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