Why Huddersfield Town sacked Danny Cowley just days after he saved them

Huddersfield Town sacked Danny Cowley less than 48 hours after all but saving them from Championship relegation, citing “a different vision for the way we operate the club”.
Danny Cowley: Sacked by Huddersfield despite keeping them up. (Picture: Steve Ellis)Danny Cowley: Sacked by Huddersfield despite keeping them up. (Picture: Steve Ellis)
Danny Cowley: Sacked by Huddersfield despite keeping them up. (Picture: Steve Ellis)

Chairman Phil Hodgkinson explained the shock decision to sack Danny and brother and assistant Nicky after 10 months was down to a difference of opinion about the clubs’ future direction. “We have made this decision in the belief that, in the long term, it is in the best interests of the club,” he said.

“We have a different vision for the way we operate the club, and how our ambitions can be achieved.”

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Cowley inherited a team with one point from six league games and led them to 13 wins and 11 draws in 40 matches, with often pragmatic rather than pretty football.

On Friday, he outlined his plan for next season after a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion meant only a goal difference miracle could send Town down.

“We need working-class players that will fight for the badge and give a consistent, gritty performance week in, week out,” he said. “There are certain boxes you have to tick to be a good Championship team. We need a balance and a consistency in our squad. Young players need senior players to help them.”

He praised experienced players Andy King, Richard Stearman and Jonas Lossl, who joined on loan in January.

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Huddersfield have been more badly hit than most Championship clubs by the coronavirus. They had to pay back part of this season’s parachute payment as the Premier League adjusts to a £330m rebate on its TV contracts.

A host of playing contracts were run down amidst the financial and footballing uncertainty.

Academy product Lewis O’Brien and on-loan Arsenal teenager Emile Smith Rowe, who combined for Friday’s winner, were also key to avoiding relegation and Town may feel they have to rely more on younger, cheaper players. Leeds United’s under-23 coach Carlos Corberan has been linked to the job, with Town not accepting applications.

Hodgkinson’s first managerial appointment was quite a coup. Highly-rated Cowley initially turned down the job of coach, but agreed to come as manager, a sign of his hands-on approach despite Town’s continental structure.

The Yorkshire Post also understands top-scorer Karlan Grant is close to a £15m transfer.

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