Notts County owner Alan Hardy has put the EFL’s oldest league club up for sale.
Hardy announced the news in a statement posted on the clubs official website on Sunday evening. A keen user of social media, the Magpies owner, had earlier in the day posted an apology on Twitter for inadvertently tweeting an inappropriate picture on the social media platform.
This morning an inappropriate photo appeared in one of my tweets. This was clearly an honest mistake as a result of my camera roll being included in a screenshot. I tried to rectify the error by deleting the tweet as soon as I noticed and I apologise for any offence caused.
— Alan Hardy (@Bigalanh5) January 27, 2019
Hardy insists however that neither the inappropriate tweet or the fact that the Magpies are rooted to the bottom of the league had anything to do with his decision.
“I would like to make it clear from the outset that the club’s current league position is not a factor in this decision, nor are any of the events which have unfolded in the media this weekend.”
“The truth is, my efforts to restore Notts County’s fortunes over the last two years mean my other businesses have had to take a back seat. They are now in need of my full attention.”
The controversial owner took charge at Meadow line in 2017, buying the club from Ray Trew with its league status and very existence under threat. He appointed Kevin Nolan as the manager and led the club to safety. He followed this up by reaching the Play-Offs last season, losing to Coventry City in controversial circumstances.
However, this seasons campaign got off to a poor start which saw Nolan relieved of his duties before the end of August. Hardy then turned to Harry Kewell but sacked him after the fourteen games he was in charge that failed to bring an upturn in results.
He then gave the job of keeping the country’s oldest league club in the EFL to Neal Ardley, but the Pies remain bottom of the table, eight points from safety with an inferior goal difference to all their main rivals.
According to his statement, Hardy has already spoken to two interested parties about taking over the club but stressed he wanted to reassure supporters that he would be doing his “utmost to ensure this huge honour is bestowed upon someone who has the best interests of the club at heart.”
Things do not get any easier for County at the weekend as they entertain league leaders Lincoln City.
Alan Hardy is a classic example of a man who is unable to transfer his business acumen into successfully running a football club.
He has indeed invested a lot of money into the playing side, but a bloated squad and wage bill have not brought him the success he so obviously craves. His attempt to engage with the supporters on Twitter is worthy, but it has so often backfired, with this weekends events a classic example.
The Magpies have seventeen games to reach safety, but with the continued upheaval both on and off the pitch, they seem odds on to be playing National League football next season.