Warrington chairman says fans’ criticism of Karl Fitzpatrick is ‘unfair’

It has been a crazy week at Warrington Wolves with Daryl Powell sacked as head coach and replaced by club stalwart Gary Chambers on an interim basis.

Powell departs the club after less than two years, with both seasons with him at the helm seeing the fans turn on the players due to a number of below-par performances.

It hasn’t just been Powell who has been on the end of a backlash from the Wire faithful though with the club’s chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick coming under fire.

As the Wolves search for a new boss, chairman Stuart Middleton spoke to BBC Merseyside about Fitzpatrick believing that the fans’ anger towards him is unjust.

“I think a lot of the criticism is unfair on Karl,” said Middleton. “At the end of the day he’s the only employed member of the board, we are all non-executives if you like, and we don’t get paid, we do this in our free time.

“The likes of myself and Simon (Moran) put in a lot of money as well, and Karl has got to run the business, the stadium, the training facilities, all the employees – that’s all part of his role and he works very hard. He’s a grafter.

“I understand the frustration from the fans and I’m upset and frustrated too. But I think it’s wrong to completely put it on Karl’s head. He doesn’t pick the players, he facilitates it and does the research on who’s available and all that.

“But ultimately it’s the coach who says who he wants and to get the best out of those players and motivate them and get them to perform, that really is not the chief executive’s role.”

Despite believing the Fitzpatrick backlash is unjustified, Middleton didn’t recognise that everyone at the club need to have a moment of self-reflection, as he revealed an upcoming meeting that could change the backroom board structure at the club.

“Having said that, we have looked at ourselves as well and questioned what we’ve got wrong, and we’re hopeful that we can all learn from that.

“We’ve got a meeting planned where we are going to look at a different procedure, have we spread ourselves to thin? Is it a full-time role? Do we need someone in as a Director of Rugby?

“So we are going to do all the necessary due diligence and see what we can improve on from all of this and it’s up to us to take on the challenge.”