‘You lose trust with somebody doing something behind your back’ – Caldwell rules out Hurst return to Shrewsbury

Paul Hurst took Shrewsbury from the lower end of League One to the play-off final in the space of 18

Paul Hurst took Shrewsbury from the lower end of League One to the play-off final in the space of 18 months. Photo: Express & Star - Credit: Archant

Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell has ruled out Paul Hurst returning to the club following his recent sacking by Ipswich Town.

Hurst was appointed by the Blues just a day after Shrewsbury lost the League One Play-Off Final back in May, bringing assistant Chris Doig and physio Chris Skitt with him to Portman Road.

He subsequently lasted just 149 days in the job, owner Marcus Evans pulling the trigger on October 25 after just one win in 15 games left Town bottom of the Championship table.

MORE: How one small gesture by Ipswich Town fan Karl Fuller led to more than 500 tickets being donated

Shrewsbury again find themselves without a boss after John Askey was sacked this week, the Shropshire side currently 18th in League One, with a sensational return for Hurst quickly mooted.

“It’s too soon for Paul to come back to this football club,” Caldwell told the Shropshire Star.

“A lot of things went on that not everybody’s privy to – some things came out fairly recently. I think the way it happened with him clearing his office the day before the biggest game in our history...

MORE: ‘It was really frustrating but it’s paid off’ - Dozzell on patience, asking for a loan and stalled comeback

“I look at it, with the monies in the Championship now, as one of the biggest games in our history.

Most Read

“To talk to players on the way back from the play-off final about next season having lost gave indications he was staying.

“He then jumped in his car, which was full with his office things. There’s no doubt interviews had taken place.

“You find out more and more truths. You have lost that trust with someone doing something behind your back for such a length of time at a really important time for this football club.

“Nobody’s bigger than Shrewsbury Town Football Club.”

MORE: Taylor is the football sponge bringing a Spanish influence to Ipswich... and he used to clean Lambert’s boots

Caldwell continued: “Paul and his agent negotiated a new contract at the turn of the year, nine or 10 months ago, and was immediately trying to work an exit strategy.

“Listen I’m all for an exit strategy. If the situation had been different and he’d come and said ‘if I get this opportunity I’d like to take it’ – then we wanted him to be ambitious.

“We spoke all through his time how important it was to be ambitious and take the next step. We wanted to be the club he took the next step with. But there’s a way of managing that ambition.

“I like to be honest with everybody and tell the truth. I like to be able to sleep at night knowing I’m not doing something behind someone’s back.”

Hurst remains 2/1 second-favourite for the Shrews job and has also been linked with the vacant positions at AFC Wimbledon and Notts County.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter