Connect with us

Forest Green Rovers

Dale Vince speaks out after being mocked on Forest Green’s relegation from League Two

Dale Vince speaks out after being mocked on Forest Green’s relegation from League Two, ending their 7-year stay in the EFL.

Colchester’s 2-0 victory at home to Grimsby Town in midweek means they are eight points above Forest Green in 22nd in League Two, with two games to play.

Vince’s side have been in the bottom two for much of the 2023/24 campaign and have won only nine of their 44 matches, but now they have to prepare for. a return to the fifth tier after a difficult two seasons since the club won a first promotion to League One.

Forest Green have suffered some instability behind the scenes, with relegation last season, five managers appointed – three since the summer of 2023 – and seen changes to their director of football and chief executive.

Duncan Ferguson was got rid of after only five months in charge during pre-season back in July 2023, with David Horseman then replacing him less than three weeks before this season started.

Horseman picked up only four wins – not helped by an injury crisis quarter of the way through the season – and left the club in December before player-coach Troy Deeney took the job, but his tenure was even shorter, just six games and left with the club seven points from safety.

Owner Dale Vince said that the club’s approach of choosing coaches with potential at the start of their career didn’t pay off and brought in experienced boss Steve Cotterill back in January with an aim of keeping the club in the league.

While results struggled to improve, five wins and two draws in Forest Green’s last 17 games, their fate was sealed, after three consecutive losses, a 6-0 hammering by Wrexham on Saturday and then Colchester beating Grimsby.


Obviously everyone at the club is disappointed with the outcome of this season, which last night’s results have crystallised. Our best efforts have not been good enough, in recruitment primarily – it’s not a budget issue. On the upside, we now have in place an excellent manager and player recruitment lead in Steve Cotterill.

We will open new training facilities at J13 in time for next season, these will be by far and away the best facilities FGR has ever had. As a club we’ll probably be in the best position we’ve been in for two seasons – since we won League 2.

Relegation is something nobody wants, but it happens in football of course and it’s not the end of the world. It’s a litmus test, against which we can be clear we’ve not been good enough, but we can plan to recover.

We’re extremely grateful to our fans for their loyal support through a second difficult season in a row and pledge to move heaven and earth to get back to a better place, in terms of our football and league position.

Analysis – Paul Furley, BBC Radio Gloucestershire: “Two seasons ago, Forest Green were stumbling towards the League Two title. Now they tumble out of the Football League after successive relegations.

“Chairman Dale Vince is one of the few characters to have been involved throughout that time of turbulence and change, with some fans blaming or accusing him of taking his eye off the ball.

“That’s harsh, after a series of appointments made with the best of intentions, as he looked to appoint a head coach into their first League One role and replicate the success of Rob Edwards.

“Vince has tried to be loyal and backed his appointments financially, but that has also meant those coaching changes have always come during a transfer window, with Edwards in January 2022 the last to have a full window to work with, let alone time to plan.

“Former director of football Rich Hughes – who appointed John Mousinho at Portsmouth – has been equally difficult to replace.

“Finally the club opted for the experience of Cotterill, who was appointed with 19 games to go in January.

“Within 14 matches he had won more games than his two predecessors had managed in 27 between them, but a run of fixtures against the top five has meant Rovers struggled when they needed to kick on.

“Steve Cotterill looked broken after the 6-0 defeat at Wrexham, the result adding insult to the wound of his team’s inevitable fate.

“Keeping him will be crucial to the club’s chances of restoring confidence to whatever remains after the summer of a damaged playing squad and their hopes of bouncing back.”

Fans reacted as Dale Vince speaks out after being mocked on Forest Green’s relegation from League Two…

@philhawker: I’m a Cheltenham supporter, Dale, but still sorry to see you go down. Hope Steve is able to stay with you and get you back up next season!

@craigbarrass1: You won’t be back in EFL for a long time. If ever

@SimonHacker11: Forget renewables, if we can harness the negative energy in football towards FGR we could power next season’s air fryers and floodlights. Still the best club in the world, the only one that cares and has a truly 💚.

@92_jackrich: Don’t rush back Dale, you won’t be missed 👍🏽

@Ollie_Furniss10: I don’t think anyone ever suggested it was a budget issue, especially after seeing those agent fees 🤣🤣🤣🤣

@Hoppo101: Alot asking you to go Dale? What your reaction to that after giving them the dream?.

@Antni_b: Got lucky with Hughes. The man is unbelievable. He’s moved on to bigger and better things, and you are falling back to where you belong. Long way back from down there.

@AndrewCaldecot8: Championship you said haha enjoy non league

@finnrbond: I think Dale (like many) made the mistake of appointing a successful footballer as a manager. If the right appointment had been made, FGR could still be L2. Not enough opportunities to progress for coaches in England especially compared to countries like Germany and Portugal.

@martingodwinbt1: Thanks for the update. I’m sure that most fans will be delighted that Steve will be helping us get back to L2 next season.

@MarkVanMan72: If only Salford or MK Dons could join you.

@GreatDave1971: Don’t agree with all your politics, but really like what you’re trying to achieve with your club. Best of luck for next season to you, FGR and all your fans 👍

@frankmills: Loved visiting your club as an away fan. Since then, I’ve always had an eye on developments. You’ve got a superstar in Steve. All the best for the future.. 👍⚽️❤️

@Kevyla: I’ve always believed SC would be here next season come way may, but is there any risk of him leaving? I know you can’t say 100%, but are you confident? We really need some stability and experience going forward, following 2 rather unsettled seasons. #fgrfc

@darrell_ben: No Dale. I speak for the whole of the EFL in saying “obviously everyone is delighted you are out of the EFL” 😂😂

@educbscott: Are you adding stars to your shirts for relegations now? Seems a shame to give up on an idea just because it turns out you’re not as good at football as you thought.

@seanbaker87: So happy Steve Cotterill is staying 😊

@GtfcJacko: Any update on those stars you fill in each year Dale? 😆😆

@donnydogg: Over the moon you’ve gone tbh. Awful ground to visit, vegan burgers, token female managers for two weeks. Pathetic club, awful fan base.

@RicciTRFC: As he says, recruitment isn’t always a budget issue. They have spent but spent poorly. Whatever budget we have gets wasted every year, have to do far better.

@roddersecfc: Back where you belong. Bye 👋

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Forest Green Rovers