Hull chairman Ilicali reveals why he sacked Rosenior, but who next?

Hull chairman Acun Ilicali has revealed why he sacked Liam Rosenior, and hints at who could be the Championship side’s next head coach.

Rosenior – who had been at the helm since December 2022 – was dismissed on Tuesday in a move that took many by surprise.

Hull lost 1-0 to Plymouth on the final day of the season, which ended the Tigers’ play-off hopes. In his first season, Rosenior helped the club to retain their Championship status.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Ilicali elaborated on his statement at the time of Rosenior’s departure, revealing that differing footballing philosophies proved to be the difference.

He said: “To summarise it, there was a conflict of opinion between us and Liam over the official plans.

“We like his character, we like his coaching skills, I really love him as a person, but there are some things in football that can separate both sides like the philosophy of football. Our football mind was not to keep it the same way like Liam.

“Liam has a very energetic style of football with every detail that I appreciate. But he is more control the game, a more defensive style of football, when what we want to see is a more attacking style, more dominating.

“In the January transfer window, we bought seven players and most of them were offensive style of players. They were completely with the technical skills of football. So when the transfer of attacking players full of these abilities and the mentality of our coach is conservative, it became not using our weapon as we were trying to do it.

Acun Ilicali and Liam Rosenior
Acun Ilicali said he ‘worked well’ with Liam Rosenior, but the two had differing football philosophies

“His philosophy is a different mind, but we bought all these players to have a fully attacking mentality and in football, there are different ways of thinking… The recruitment was done because of that and unfortunately, we couldn’t see it.

“We were not on the same page with him, but his style of football, I see that so many clubs are good and successful [at it] so his way is also a good way of football.”

Rosenior recently signed a new three-year contract in December 2023, which would have kept him at the club until 2026.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Plymouth Argyle and Hull City

When asked if the 39-year-old should have been given more time to implement a philosophy as other clubs have done in the past, Ilicali replied: “Yes, you are right but at the end of the day, it is not possible for me to share every detail with you because there are so many things we have to keep confidential.

“I’m summarising it in general, but it is not the only point that we were separated in the way of thinking… I don’t want to change his character, I don’t want to change his coaching because he has a unique and fantastic character.

“From that point of view, rather than changing the character of the manager, it is better to change the manager.

“We are close friends and we had very good times together… but this is a completely different thing that in life, it’s possible. You can have a good relationship with everybody but business is business.

“When I was talking to him [about leaving], it was a very friendly and good conversation. He’s a very good character and a fantastic person. But to enjoy business, you have to be completely on the same page so he understood it.

“We didn’t do it like ‘Liam, we’re not going to be together’, it was a time of some days and we talked about it in detail and decided to go different ways.”

Rosenior has been approached for comment by Sky Sports News.

Who could be next at Hull?

Sky Sports News understands Tim Walter is one of the candidates to take over from Rosenior after the German coach left his role as Hamburg boss earlier this year.

Ilicali confirmed the interest, adding: “Yes he is one of our candidates. He is a very successful coach with a very good way of football. I can say that he is one of our targets.”

Former Hamburg coach Tim Walter has been linked with Hull
Former Hamburg coach Tim Walter has been linked with Hull

Ilicali added that a Spanish or German coach was his preference, adding that managers from the latter had seen success in the Championship.

“I think it’s not by coincidence,” he explained. “There is something behind it that German philosophy and British mentality go good together. Anything is possible but in 10 days, or maybe less, we will be getting somewhere.

“We have to work hard and what we are doing at the moment is that. I’m in Monaco at the moment, meeting people here and we are working 24 hours to find the best choice for the club.

“I love this city, I love the fans and they believe in us. What I will say is the same football mind that found Liam and made the success together with the fans and coach will find another coach with the power of these beautiful people, I’m sure we will go to success together.

“Liam is successful, but what we want is someone more successful and a more entertaining football future. It’s going to take not too long, but we’ll work hardest to achieve that.”

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