Hoyle urges fans to show support

Neil Wainwright and Michael Stringfellow with Mick Hoyle at Giant Axe.
Neil Wainwright and Michael Stringfellow with Mick Hoyle at Giant Axe.
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Lancaster City director of football Mick Hoyle has made a passionate defence of the club’s directors.

The former multiple-time caretaker boss said The Dolly Blues would not have survived without the current board and urged the city to get behind its football club irrespective of who was in charge.

Hoyle was speaking in response to a letter in last week’s Lancaster Guardian, which suggested dwindling Giant Axe attendances are due to a dislike of the current “top brass” and their decision to part company with popular manager Tony Hesketh at the start of the season.

He said: “I agree with the gentleman’s sentiment. I truly believe that people should support the club regardless of the people involved.

“It’s not about players, managers or directors; it’s the fans’ club and it will always be there for them.

“I don’t believe people understand the hard work and commitment a small group of directors put into running this club for those very fans and if it is true that people are staying away from Giant Axe as they don’t like me then they are not a true Blue.

“I’m not asking people to like me, or the board, or our decisions, but you must still support your club. It needs you.”

Hoyle reiterated his stance that he would move aside if a better person to run the club showed themselves and said criticism of the directors was making them think twice about their involvement at Giant Axe.

He said: “Above all else I am a fan too and I’ve always said that if a better person for this job came along then I would stand aside and take my place on the terraces but there isn’t anyone out there.

“What shall we do? Let the club go bust? I cannot do that.

“There is a current air of negativity and criticism being bandied about, about the board, that is hurtful and is frankly making directors, and there are not many of us, think twice about whether we want to do this; whether it is worth it.

“Six short years ago John Bagguley came to me and implored me to get back involved and save the club, myself and three others spent a substantial amount so Lancaster City Football Club could go into administration and ultimately survive.

“Without that Giant Axe would be a block of flats.”

On Hesketh’s departure Hoyle is adamant that he and the board of directors did the right thing.

He said, “On the Monday before pre-season began on Thursday Tony phoned me and said he was stepping aside.

“I persuaded him to stay and said I will keep the job open for him and look after things until he came back, I wanted him back.

“Unfortunately what happened in that period left us with no other alternative than to act, in the best interests of Lancaster City, and terminate his contract and I stand by that 100 per cent.”

“We also felt that the connection with Myerscough College was not working for us and we had to move in a different direction.”

On the pitch Hoyle is content with the club’s position under new bosses Neil Wainwright and Michael Stringfellow, insisting financing a promotion push could take the Dolly Blues to the brink again.

He said: “We have had to cut our cloth accordingly, “I’d love us to make another promotion push but if we tried to finance that we would risk not paying bills.

“It is as simple as that and we will not put the football club at risk, we are proud to have stayed in the black, to owe nobody anything and keep those turnstiles open.”