Jeff Stelling responds to former Hartlepool United and Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Dave Jones' scathing comments after hearing Sky Sports Soccer Saturday rant
Jeff Stelling said ‘Pools fans can judge who is right’ following former manager Dave Jones’ scathing comments directed at the Hartlepool United club president.
Almost three years after leaving Pools, Jones called-out Stelling for comments made in the build-up to his departure.
With the club facing relegation from the Football League for the first time in its history back in 2017, Stelling made an impassioned speech urging Jones to quit.
“Dave Jones, for God’s sake, for the good of the club, walk now, go now!” Stelling exclaimed during a live Soccer Saturday broadcast as Pools were beaten 2-0 at home to Barnet leaving them two points adrift in the relegation zone.
That proved to be Jones’ final match in charge of the club as Hartlepool were relegated to the National League at the end of the season.
When discussing Pools’ relegation on the Wolf Whistle Podcast last week, Jones simply stated ‘their time was coming to go’.
And after listening to Stelling’s rant in full for the first time, Jones responded: “Everybody can have a say but he’s in a [public] position.
“I’d gone and tried to help the club – it’s not as if the club were top of the league every year.
“Every year they struggled to stay in a division and it was coming, their time was coming to go out.
“I went in with Kevin Cooper and Alex [Armstrong] and we tried to change, and what was the mistake? We probably tried to change it too quickly at the end of the day.
“When people have built up empires within football clubs, they don’t want to let it go and those empires needed to be broken, as I did when I went to Cardiff and Southampton.
“You’ve got to embrace change and they didn’t want change so when people were telling me what [Stelling] said and what I did, I used to get on okay with him, but I just thought it was a cheap way of journalism and it’s not as if he’s a football guru.
“I heard he was phoning the chairman up and asking why I wasn’t playing this player and I know a lot of people had a go at him about it but I’ve had worse in my life.
“To me, he’s a nobody, he tried to use his fame [against me]. I’d probably knock him out if I saw him, if he was on fire, I wouldn’t waste any of my water on him put it that way.”
The comments were slammed by Stelling on Twitter who was ‘upset’ by the ‘one-sided’ manner in which a dark point in Hartlepool’s history was brought up once again.
In response to Jones’ strong words, Stelling told the Hartlepool Mail: “Needless to say I disagree and don’t intend to get in a slanging match.
“But I did not ever try and influence team selection. Dave makes it sound like he was doing the club a favour rather than being well paid.
“I acted in desperation to try and save the club. Pools fans can judge who is right.”