PATRICK HODLER HAS BEEN SACKED AS BARRY TOWN UNITED MANAGER
A troubling day here at Jenner Park has ended with Swiss Icon Patrick Hodler being relieved of his duties as Barry Town boss. Rumours have been circulating for a few weeks with regards to Hodler’s contract being up at the end of the season and that negotiations has fallen through, so for Hodler to leave wasn’t a shock, however for him to be sacked is nothing short of stunning.
A club statement reads:
“Over the past few months the relationship between Patrick and the board has become stretched at best. On numerous occasions we have been asked for extra money, to link with other clubs and to turn professional. The subsequent breakdown in new contract talks, alongside some off field actions and Patrick refusing to attend an emergency meeting meant we have had no choice but to terminate his contract immediately, rather than wait another month until the end of his contract.
We do however thank Patrick for his work here over the past three seasons, three consecutive 2nd place finishes and good European campaigns have helped this club increase it’s reputation but unfortunately we longer see Patrick as the man to lead this great club”
An emergency meeting was called earlier in the day between the board and Hodler after quotes were leaked to the press over the refusal to let him have more wage and transfer budgets and the option of turning professional. He did not show up after declining talks, the board clearly felt they had no option but to show him the door.
Hodler has made it quite clear in his press conferences in the past few months he felt the board lacked ambition. On three separate occasions he had run-ins with the board about turning professional, only to be rebuked every time. When contract negotiations started in Mid-May they immediately broke down when Hodler asked for the wage budget to be increased. At the time he stated that if money wasn’t spent they would be left behind by TNS who were already title winners once again with an even bigger margin over the rest of the league.
We have managed to get a few words from Mr Hodler after his dismissal, it was short but it reads:
“Three amazing years at Barry Town United have come to end, clearly the club lacks the ambition I set out when taking this job back in the Summer of 2018. It is now time to move on and make a step up in my career as a football manager”
Where will Hodler go next? We will have to wait and see but it is clear he won’t be short of options. Rumours has already been circulating that one of the reasons for his quick sacking was being caught in a popular London gentleman’s club over the weekend with his agent and the chairman of Swiss Super League side Neuchâtel Xamax.
The Barry board clearly had enough of Hodler’s antics and saw this as the last straw. Ironically for Hodler that meeting which clearly swayed his sacked didn’t go well and he wasn’t offered the job.
Over the past three months numerous clubs have been linked with Hodler but all have fallen through due to his demands. The previous one being Sunderland who refused to let him back down on signing high profile players.
So where did it all go wrong for Hodler? Why did he feel the club lacked ambition?
Let’s look at four issues that Barry Town United have faced this season.
Issue #1 – Club Status
TNS are the only club in Wales with a professional status, we mentioned earlier Hodler had gone to the board numerous times asking for this semi-pro team to turn pro but was refused. Is this a lack of ambition or sensible play in the poor economical world of Welsh football? Clearly Hodler has aspirations that he could overtake TNS with a bit ambition whereas the board were more than happy with 2nd place.
Issue #2 – Ability to Attract Players
With TNS being professional they clearly had the muscle to attract better players. Let’s take a look at three signings made by both TNS and Barry Town United during the Summer of 2020.
Case #1 – Daniel Mandroiu (TNS) v Pavel Vieira (Barry)
Both players came into their respective clubs on a free transfer but you can just see how much better the TNS signing is. I watched a video of a popular YouTuber who said count up the points around the attributes to see who is better, well their players comes out 14 points better off.
Case #2 – Will Huffer (TNS) v Louis Gray (Barry)
While Huffer comes to TNS on loan from Leeds (TNS paying his £750 per week wages), Gray comes in to Barry a free, once again Huffer by far the better GK, the attributes show he is 8 points better off.
Case #3 – Isak Thorvaldsson (TNS) v Owen Evans (Barry)
Both of these players came in on loan, Thorvaldsson from Norwich, TNS paying his £900 per week and Evans (ironically from TNS) for £130 per week. So Barry can only attract TNS’ reserve players which is a worry. Their player is 16 points better off.
A clear win for TNS in their transfer activity. This was clearly down to the financial muscle TNS can bring to the table with negotiations and also the attractiveness of a full-time club.
Issue #3 – Ability to Keep Players
One major issue Hodler has had this season is teams coming in and nicking the best youth players at Barry, below you can all the players who left the club:
Ignoring the one loan they lost 11 players to clubs offering them a better deal, all of these players were on “amateur” contracts, a club came in, Hodler offered them a paid deal but they would rather leave and join another club on a “Part-Time” contract. TNS came in and stole, who we consider to be 2 of the best Young players in Barry’s academy, 2 players Hodler had earmarked as first-teamers this season.
So this also shows in the current climate Hodler just couldn’t compete, is it a level playing field when a player would rather join another club on no money than stay art Barry for a weekly wage?
Issue #4 – The Clubs Best Players
Hodler had spent numerous press conferences talking about the “spine” of his team and how he felt they were the major reason for their 2nd place finishes but how good are they in comparison to TNS’ 3 best players?
Case #1 – Liam Wakefield (TNS) v Curtis Watkins (Barry)
Watkins is by far Barry’s best defender in the squad, always averages the highest out of the back 4 and is consistantly good, but then you look and Wakefield and you can see he is 1 or 2 points up in every department.
Case #2 – Liam O’Neil (TNS) v Evan Press (Barry)
Evan Press is a fans favourite here, young, energetic and always puts in a shift, he is always No. 1 choice in midfield, O’Neil is probably TNS’ best player and you can see why, he averages 11-14 in all the important attributes wheres Press averages 9-11.
Case #3 – Steve Morison (TNS) v Momodou Touray (Barry)
Two very different forwards but you can see the gulf in quality from the graphic. Touray is Barry’s best player albeit on loan for a 3rd consecutive season, Touray has been sensational for Barry this season scoring 32 goals in 43 games but you can just see how much better Morison is attribute wise.
So we can clearly see the issues Hodler has faced during this season, the players he has at his disposal, the willingness to attract quality players isn’t there. Clearly Hodler had ambitions higher than the club.
We have attempted to contact the club with questions regarding the issues we have brought up, but so far the club have failed to come back with any comment. Inside information however does seem to suggest that the board completely deny that the club lacks ambition and that they are looking at a big name manager to take over next.
So we say goodbye to Patrick Hodler by looking back at some of the achievements he gained during his three seasons here.
- 2019 Nathaniel MG Cup Winner
- Club record sale for Hugo Logan (£675)
- At the end of the 20/21 Season Tom Fry won the Welsh Premier League Goal of the Season.
Everyone here at the Barry Town Bugel wishes him well and we look forward to seeing where he lands next.
He clearly won’t be short of offers. Rumours are already in full flow, after his failed meetings with Sunderland and Neuchatel Xamax, offers are coming in from far and wide, South Africa, Switzerland and Scotland have all been mentioned but will these clubs be swayed with Patrick’s charm and big ambitions?
We will all have to wait and see where he lands next!