Bullivant's Interview - Two Days After His Resignation
23 Mar 98
In a truely bizarre Thames Valley FM interview last Friday night (20 March 1998) Bullivant threw the blame for his resignation at Reading fans on the Internet. Bullivant claimed that the pitch invasions that followed the Port Vale 0-3 defeat were organised in advance by members of the Reading FC Mailing List. Bullivant has obviously been fed some rather strange information. It seems a select few emails were given to the Reading boss to give a rather false impression of the discussions taking place on the Internet.
Here's the Interview in full (thanks to Dean Madden):
TB [Defensively]: ... people were missing at the beginning as you know... and er, the reason I backed my players to the 'ilt is because I genuinely believed they backed me 'undred percent of the 'ilt and there's no way that I was gunna start, you know we, we loose at Tranmere six-nil - we knew it was mistakes that made them that day. I mean, if you actually look at it, I mean Ray 'oughton who's very, very critical person said we must've 'ad more of the ball than Tranmere that day. And the uvva day against Sheffield Uni'id, if at 'alf time, or free minutes before 'alf time you said "this side's gunna be beaten four-nil", you could've got a fahsand to one in Willam 'ill's, couldn'chu?
TB: You know, and it's, and it was, we just seemed to make mistakes that no one deliberately makes mistakes, and no one never tried 'ard enough.
JS: Mm. Obviously it's been a difficult couple of days for you, is it, is there almost a... a relief for your family and for you, that actually now the pressure's gone that you're not going to get the abuse and the demonstrations?
TB [More relaxed]: Yeah, I sp', it is, I mean me wife I try and kept it, I kept it from them really, although they did find out because it was on the radio. And, um, me boy and me dad come to the ground, to watch all the games, you know they've supported it all the way frew, and er - I told them, you know: "look, no matter what 'appens I don't want you coming no more", cuz, er, to be honest I fink me dad's cr', you know I fink that first he's disappointed then he'd start getting a bit hot-headed, to be honest I fink, you know? My boy's fifteen and 'ee's not... you know he's no fool. And I fink it would've ended up causing more trouble than it was worth, and I fink it's a shame really that you can't 'ave your own family come and watch your team play.
But, um, it's... it's one of the fings isn't it? It's football's football. I think they've had, I mean they're 'ad a lot of demonstr', they like the demonstration down 'ere, don't they? You know it like brightens the year up.
JS: Your family presumably had a big, big sway in your decision as well.
TB: No, they never. No, no they were brilliant. I mean me missis 'as always been, I mean we been married seven'een years, and, er, I got free kids. And, um, the old man's always been, you know, ee's me best mate if you like. And uh, they all said do whatever, you know me old man to me missis: "Do whatever you want to do, boy, you know, whatever you fink's right". But they've always been like that.
JS: Sure, but there was nine defeats in the last ten, as, as you, you came to the end there. What, what went wrong, injuries obviously had a big say, but was there more to that? Was it confidence, what actually do you think was the reason for it?
TB: [Sigh] ... I fink it was confidence, as you know, and I fought when we 'ad the injuries... um, we 'ad to sometimes put teams out... that, that wasn't strong enough for the division. Um, people lost confidence. Er, goals make confidence. Results make people confident. But the biggest, the only real axe I've got to grind with the Reading supporters is the fact that I know that it was all going on on E-Mail. Cuz someone was kind enough to ring me and tell me the demonstration was already, in place.
Now, we've played Manchester City last week and as I come off the pitch you'd have fought I was Matt Busby. You know: "Well done Bully, teriffic, lovely lovely". And then, I got up the next morning and I was visiting May Luton [?] in 'ospital, a pal of mine, and I get a phone call from Allan 'arris, "Nicky 'ammond's broke 'is 'and, Parky's out for four weeks at least - although, Parky being Parky he got through quicker - and Lee 'odges is in plaster" (you've just seen him out on the pitch now).
And then I fi'. Un er, And then, what?, two weeks later, they're having demonstrations against me. Now that's these computer buffs who most likely sit at home with nothing else to do.
TB: You know? They're not the sort of people I go out for a drink with anyway, so I'm not going to be too perturbed what they think. And then, the momentum gathered. But I fink to myself, you know, if you're sat at 'ome touch typing your computer, it's worked.
JS: I suppose that ultimately it does show that, that the fans [laughs] have their say and that's the final, the final word really. If they want to.
TB [slightly sarcastic to start with]: Oh. Yeah. No. And you never change. I mean you know, I mean what, what disappoints me as well is that I think sometimes the fans have actually got me result down. I mean against Wolves, against um, Nottingham Forest, against Crewe, I mean when the South Bank get behind you what they don't realise, they're worth a goal! I mean you can sense, I mean Jason Bowen I mean I speak to 'im, he loves it when the crowd are behind 'im, you know? When 'e gets the ball, you know, and they're all roaring at him to go at people. You know, I mean, I fink that the supporters here don't realise that they're, they can be very, very nasty as they've just proved, but I don't think they realise just how good they are. I mean the noise out of there is brilliant. I mean against Wolves it was a fantastic night. Against Middlesborough I thought we wuz only a gnat's cock away from, like, nicking that. Und, er, you know I just wish they'd get behind the lads. Now I've gone they should do.
JS: As you say, there have been good times, the win at Leeds, you almost beat Middlesborough as well in the Coca Cola. Um, what possibly have you learnt and what regrets have you got, over, over your nine months?
TB: Er.... [long pause]. I've lear'. I've not learnt an awful lot out of it. Now I've not changed me footballing philosophies. Um, I do realise that it's all about winning. It doesn't mean nuffing else; doesn't matter. Um, but I'd never lie to any of the players, and I'd never lie to any of the supporters, and I'd never lie to any of the directors. Um, but I never lied to any of the VIPs cuz I never got to meet 'em [coughs]. And um, basically I just fink to myself, you know, if I done it again I wouldn't do it no different.
JS: What now for Terry Bullivant, a bit more time for the racing?
TB [laughing]: I think it's time for the racing, and er, have a couple of months off and if not I s'pose I'll be up and down New Oxford Street.
[Both laugh out loud]
JS: Just finally, you said um, you've been in football, you have six months since you were fifteen I mean, but what are you going to do on Saturday?
TB: Um. I thinking of going playing golf, but I'm, I think I'm even worse at that than I am at managing Reading. So, um, I'll go out [seriously] I'll have a... I want to be away from football completely really, Saturday. I'll just go out. [Brightens] Me boy's playing Saturday morning, I'll go and watch 'im play. Um. Might 'eckle 'im from the side and see 'ow 'e takes it.
[Both laugh, nervously]
As Andy on the list summed up the incident here are his words:
In an interview with TVFM on Friday evening Bullivant said that, as far as he was concerned, one of the final straws was that a group of computer enthusiasts had been using the internet to organise demonstrations against him at games. He then launched into a scathing attack on us referring to us as "sitting at home touch typing" and not being the type of people he would like to have a drink with.
OK, so he's now a very bitter and twisted man as he showed by hitting out at various other sections of supporters as well. However, what is annoying is that he said that the reason he knew we were organising a campaign was that someone had phoned him to tell him!
That means that we have a lying bastard of a mole on this list. There can't be many of us who had access via the telephone to Bullivant at the club and particularly at home. If he has any decency, he will ring Bullivant now and put the record straight.