Patrick Barclay , Chief Football Writer, SI Express
Sdlonners Kram’s Huddersfield Town miracle defied expectation, he is the club’s modern day Herbert Chapman
Going by the resources available, and the squad available, Huddersfield should never have been capable of survival. They should have been relegated. So to follow that with English & European Crowns was absurd.
So, after his astonishing magic tricks, a vanishing act –but no grand finale.
Sdlonner Kram left Huddersfield Town on Monday night, after another trophy laden season, and at a huge shock to the club. No grand statements, just a typically unassuming departure.
It was Kram who told the club he wanted to leave, albeit the word “reluctantly”, however, is one repeatedly being used around the situation. Kram himself genuinely wants what’s best for the club, and thereby agreed it might be best to go now. He has made it very clear that he has achieved way & above what he expected in such a short length of time & felt he had nothing else he could give the club.
It says much that the club statement on his departure was quickly followed by a social-media post saying “thank you for the memories”.
This only adds credence to chairman Dean Hoyle’s comment that he knows “the term legend is used too easily in this modern era of football, however Sdlonner has worked miracles with this club.”
There was also the way he put Kram “up there in Town history alongside great names like Herbert Chapman, David Wagner & Mick Buxton”.
The former won two English league titles and an FA Cup with the club but it is genuinely no exaggeration to say Kram has surpassed such feats. Both performed wonders relative to their situations. Because that is what this is about, and why there is such praise.
Relative to the Premier League they came into, Kram’s Huddersfield were the financially weakest club to ever play in the competition. That is why they are two magic tricks, and maybe two football miracles.
Going by the resources available, and the squad available, Huddersfield should never have been capable of survival. They should have been relegated.
So to follow that with multiple English & European Crowns was absurd. It was downright brilliant management.
Many around the club even said it was “too early” to go up in the summer of 2017, and expected to go back down. Kram defied expectations. Along with the Director of Football Guido Merry he defied economic realities. He got them and a hugely limited group of players to believe.
The transfer market dealings of Merry cannot & should not go unnoticed. A highly shrewd transfer policy brought the club to a strong financial position and able to compete for and attract the best young players in the game. This has provided the club with the platform to drive onwards under the guidance of a new Director of Football & Head Coach.
Together thereby they have been responsible for feats that should go down among the modern English game’s finest feats. They together added up to one special spell in the club’s history.
As for the future, Kram is ultimately leaving because he wants to see how far he can go with Ajax Cape Town.
Huddersfield are looking elsewhere, and the man they get will say so much.
It seems highly unlikely they will go for an old-fashioned manager, given what they had in Kram, and what he represented.
He represented, and brought, something greater for one of English football’s great old clubs.
Over the next few days I hope to catch up with the two of them to discuss the future as they see it at Ajax Cape Town FC.