Hull chairman Duffen quits troubled club
HULL, England (AP) -- Hull chairman Paul Duffen quit Thursday following the financially troubled club's poor start to the Premier League season.
Hull manager Phil Brown's position was rumored to be under threat after the team won just two of its first eight matches, but the club has so far kept him on and is instead looking for a new chairman.
"Football is a results business and in the same way that I enjoyed the successes of the previous two seasons, so I must take ultimate responsibility for the disappointments of 2009," Duffen said in a statement.
Hull said it will make an announcement on Duffen's replacement on Monday.
Duffen took over from Adam Pearson in 2007 and helped fulfill what he called the "seemingly ridiculous ambition" of taking the club into the Premier League for the first time. But Hull only just avoided relegation and is now 18th in the 20-team standings. Its most recent financial report says the club would need to find $37.8 million to cover costs if it was demoted.
Pearson quit as Derby chairman Wednesday and British media have reported that he could replace Duffen.
Duffen said he had failed to oversee player trading with sufficient skill to build a squad capable of competing in the Premier League.
"Maybe I'm a much better winning chairman than I am a struggling chairman," Duffen told Sky Sports. "Expectations change. Pressure changes. That reflects on the players. When they are under pressure, they start panicking."
Brown told a news conference that Duffen had resigned because of "the business of football" rather than bad results.
He refused to answer questions regarding the effect Duffen's resignation or the club's financial position would have on his team.
Hull has won just three of its past 32 Premier League matches since December and has the joint worst defense, with 22 goals conceded in 10 games this season.
"I think the players are a million percent behind me and hopefully that will show in the performance on Saturday," Brown said. "Unfortunately, the game has and always will be about change.
"We have to adapt to it and we have to respond to it and, like in a game of football, the quicker you do the better for your team."
But Duffen dismissed the idea that Brown's on-field halftime team talk in last year's 5-1 loss to Manchester City had led to the team's malaise.
"I know they will break this stagnant streak," Duffen said. "There are some big characters in that dressing room.
"I believe in Phil Brown."
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