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‘Attention seeker’ Dale Vince slams critics over PR stunt as he replaces first female manager

‘Attention seeker’ Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince slams critics over a PR stunt as he replaces first female manager Hannah Dingley.

David Horseman leaves the Southampton B team having been their head coach, and comes in at the League Two outfit.

After Duncan Ferguson was axed, Hannah Dingley was named as boss on an interim basis, meaning she made history as she became the first woman to lead a men’s professional team in England.

Her history making appointment on the 4th of July brought on widespread attention across the world but only last 13 days.

Forest Green do say however that she would remain in charge for the back-to-back home games on Tuesday and Wednesday night against Coventry and Everton Under-21s respectively before reverting back to her role as academy head.

Horseman and assistant Louis Carey will then start their new roles on Thursday ahead of heading to Plymouth for a behind-closed-doors friendly on Saturday.

Forest Green chairman Dale Vince said on the club’s official website, with the article and tweet since deleted: “We are delighted to have David join as our head coach.

“He brings a wealth of experience and a modern approach to the game which matches our own – and he very much stood out from over 100 applicants for the role.

“I’m grateful to Hannah for holding the fort for the club while we went through the complete recruitment process and although she did not get the top job this time, it’s undoubtedly been a valuable experience and a big step on her career path.”

Horseman said: “I’m extremely excited and grateful that Dale, (vice-chairman) Asif Rehmanwala and (director of football) Allan (Steele) have given me the opportunity to lead a team which has such strong values both on and off the pitch.

“Louis and I have been lucky to be involved for a long time in professional football and study from some elite coaches which we will bring some ideas with us.

“The supporters can look forward to seeing a team with energy and aggression and one that they can be proud of.”

However, Vince has been hugely criticised and accused of performing a ‘PR stunt’ by talkSPORT’s Gabby Agbonlahor.

Agbonlahor said: “Hannah Dingley set to lose her job as caretaker manager of Forest Green? Nothing but a PR stunt from that numpty chairman.

“If I’m being brutally honest, I think the chairman of Forest Green is an attention-seeking moron. He was never going to give her he job.

“I wanted her to get at least ten games – have a proper go at it. I think it sums him up, to be honest.

“It’s not the first time you have seen him in the limelight. It is obvious it was just a PR stunt.”

As the beginning of July, Dale was asked by The Sun what he’d say to sceptics who think the move is a gimmick, Vince said: ‘I’d say f*** off. It’s a silly thing to say. It’s offensive to Hannah, the club, and women in football because she’s easily the most qualified person here to be the interim head coach.

‘She got it on merit the same as she got the academy job on merit four years ago so I’ve no time for people who say that. It’s a cheap shot.’

Dingley told The Sun: ‘I must say everyone has been accepting and welcoming of me in the game. I’ve learned that at first there is that feeling of, ‘Oh, she is a woman’ because of unconscious biases.

She added: ‘We need football club owners to think, ‘What can this person bring to my organisation?’ There shouldn’t be any barriers saying, just because I’m a woman, I can’t go into men’s football. I’ve always been single minded and never let anyone stop me pursuing what I wanted to do.’

The Telegraph also suggested it has ‘the unmistakable whiff of a PR stunt’ due to the fact that she has only been given the job temporarily, despite still being a ‘landmark moment in men’s football’.

Here’s how fans reacted as ‘attention seeker’ Dale Vince slams critics over PR stunt as he replaces first female manager Hannah Dingley…

@VetsDynamo: Agreed! Totally a PR stunt! He made it seem a joke!

@red_army_1999: Not sure gobby knows what interim manager means

@sidiyer2650: only weird if you look at her as a woman first. If you look at the appointment as what it was, it was a club appointing the academy head as an interim manager. How many interims do you see get the full time gig, let alone one who hasn’t actually managed a senior side before

@SouleLeigh: Not very often I agree with Gabby. But he’s talking sense for a change. Dale Vince was just doing a publicity stunt like he always does . There was no point in putting her in temporary charge if you had no intention of giving her the job Full time

@YouBearsssssss: Dale Vince knew what HE was doing when HE Appointed Hannah Dingley as the new “Interim Manager” now he’s appointed someone else 2 WEEKS later🤦‍♂️Publicity Stunt by a Moron who Funds #JustStopOil Twats!! #HannahDingley

@1882__THFC: I don’t normally agree with Gabby, however on this occasion he is 100% right, this was a PR stunt from the beginning. This is all about Dale Vince ego like everything he does especially with the club.

@JeremyBalcombe: @DaleVince using a 2 week interim manager as a publicity stunt. Sad really.

@chris_powley: 100% PR stunt.. just trying to get coverage for the first team to employ a female manager, However, the intention was always duplicitous.

@ReaderNator: Shit I agree with Gabby! Very valid point though, Forest Green look a complete joke now.

@WhatsTheMata90: Do people seriously not understand what an interim manager is? It was always going to be a temporary appointment and that was made clear but these people seem to not understand that

@jdmcpfc1990: Tbh it does feel like a PR stunt. I know they announced Hannah Dingley as interim not full time, but it’s odd to officially announce an interim manager during preseason when you have every intention of bringing somebody else in

@DanC261020: Can’t believe I’m agreeing with Gabby Agbonlahor 😩

@Luke313131: This wasn’t historic, it was a pathetic, self gratifying publicity stunt & this unfortunate lady was the victim. She’s been used for simply being female. Watch the pompous @DaleVince masturbate over himself as he claims he made the breakthrough of women coaching men. #WeAreFGR

@DanielDaws1: Dire PR stunt by a PR stunt of a football club.

@danshaw1990: So she became boss, while the players were on holiday? So was just for publicity and not about diversity

@scottoccomore: @DaleVince treating Hannah like a piece of meat. He gets the publicity but no thought of her at all. Claimed to give her a chance, 2 pre season games isn’t a chance. Hopefully people waking up and realising the twat he is.

@PeterDAnderson: @LukeEdwardsTele called this out weeks ago, saying it was a PR stunt and was piled by people calling him a misogynist and miserable but he was right, this has massively back fired on Forrest Green and Luke has been proven right

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