How Low Will Phil Brown Stoop Before He Gets a Job?

Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
How Low Will Phil Brown Stoop Before He Gets a Job?

We’ve swung both ways on these pages as regards Phil Brown.

In assessing his League One bound Preston side towards the end of 2011-12, my co-editor presented the defence, arguing that he’s “guilty of nothing more than being occasionally annoying”. Give the man a break, dissenters were told.

On the other hand, Ben — TTU’s resident Geordie — offered a retort, describing Brown as nothing more than “a varnished Mackem with a hot-air-balloon-sized ego who unleashed his karaoke Sinatra on the pitch in celebration of our relegation is anything less than a prize tosser.”

As for this correspondent, my Dad will attest to my views of Brown’s touchline antics over the years whenever his teams have visited Home Park.

But does any one really care these days? With Brown having been out of the game for a full calendar year now — a period judged so long in early twenty-first century football as to render him at best seriously rusty — is the debate over his likeability becoming increasingly irrelevant?

Whatever your view, it would seem that Brown and his media moles are fighting back, doing all they can to keep his name in the headlines and on the lips of supporters.

Indeed, this season I’ve perhaps heard more from and about Brown than most managers in the Football League; off the top of my head — his name’s been mentioned in relation to roles at Coventry, Bury, Bolton, Hartlepool, Limerick, Blackburn and Plymouth.

And, more often than not, Brown appears to have been the catalyst of paper talk, openly praising clubs in public view and proving that he has access to Wikipedia with references to a team’s glory years and / or an understanding of its unique challenges.

Take today, for instance. On flicking over to Sky Sports News shortly after lunchtime,  there he was again, offering another in a growing number of (please) come and get mes, this time to the boards of Notts County and Oldham, both freshly managerless as of this morning.

Perhaps one of these clubs’ chairmen will see fit to offer Brown an interview, but having evidently been snubbed by a number of other sides, does this latest plea perhaps represent a last, high risk, throw of the dice? For, if he fails, where next? When you’ve been overlooked by Hartlepool, Bury and Plymouth — currently some of the worst basket cases in the League — and have been slapped down after offering your services to two different suitors in one fell swoop, live on air, which board or set of supporters is going to enthusiastically accept you as their manager if it doesn’t work out?

Having openly admitted to being “desperate” to get back “in any division, with any football club” some four months ago whilst touting for the Gigg Lane gig, Brown clearly realises that his options are few.

Yet subsequent applications with Hartlepool and Limerick didn’t work out — allegedly due to financial reasons — so perhaps now is the time for Brown to in turn accept a salary package which is closer in line with that of your average lower division manager.

For all his faults, Brown still has his fair share of admirers, so — unless he wants to join that list of untouchables (members 1-4: Iain Dowie, John Gregory, Paul Ince, Glenn Roeder) — he needs to change tack by getting his head down and preparing thoroughly for jobs in private.

Because no one likes sloppy seconds.

is co-editor of The Two Unfortunates. He's 31, supports Plymouth Argyle and takes a particular interest in the fortunes of those Football League clubs west of Bristol. He tweets @lloydlangman.


  1. SJMaskell
    February 3, 2013

    Brown was recently seen at a Pompey game … your theory is proven.

  2. Bucks Tiger
    February 4, 2013

    Good coach. Indifferent manager. Massive self-publicist. PB did well for the Tigers, but failed at PNE and Derby so the jury is out on his ability to motivate.

    At Hull he made a couple of good moves by bringing back Deano and signing Frazier Campbell on loan. We rode that wave of success all the way to the PL and started like an express train. I was at the Emirates to see the most unlikely victory in our history, 2-1 against Arsenal?!!!

    Then we got found out…. Lucky to stay up in that first season, we were rank in the second. No away win all season. Wrong tactics and very wrong signings. Jimmy Bullard for £5m and £40k a month anyone? It was all a bit messy at the end but I will forever remember that play off day at Wembley. Subsequently Phil’s poor showing at Preston convinced many that his exrtra-curricular stuff was getting in the way of his real job of managing a football team and he hasn’t worked since.

    I too am embarrassed by his desperate pleading on Radio 5, which he uses as a personal JobCentre, but hope he finds something soon. Perhaps he should think of applying for a deputy’s position somewhere. He is, after all, a good coach.

    • James Brocklebank
      February 4, 2013

      I am pretty sure Phil had no say over the Jimmy signing that was more down to our even bigger header chairman in Paul Duffen. Our main issue in the second season was the fact we didn’t sign a striker of any quality. Unfortunately his chairman spent timechasing deals that never happened.

      I agree with your views on his reign at Preston to a certain extent but any club who slashed their wage bill in half is going to struggle, and they where mid table when he was sacked.

      He should go to a good club as an assistant and rebuild, and get his misguided reputation back.

  3. Lanterne Rouge
    February 4, 2013

    I certainly wouldn’t belittle Brown’s achievements at Hull which look all the more impressive these days than they did at the time – entertaining read though Lloyd.

  4. Ramster68
    February 9, 2013

    Not sure it’s fair to judge him at Derby – his first mgmt role.He followed George Burley, who walked away after reaching the play-offs, after disagreements with the board of the day- 2 of whom are now serving time at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. He made mistakes for sure, but I’m sure the odds were stacked against him.

  5. TTU Go Predicting: a Club-by-Club League 2 Preview | The Two Unfortunates
    July 22, 2013

    […] again, Phil Brown has a look of desperation about him. Previously, he was so keen to get a job, any job, that he’d take to his local media centre whenever a managerial position became available. […]


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