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New Notts owner Alan Hardy: Points from his first press conference

Joe Jones

Out with the old and in with the new.

The protracted Notts County takeover saga is now but a distant memory, with new owner Alan Hardy now officially in charge of the club.

Hardy appeared in front of the cameras on Thursday afternoon at Meadow Lane to introduce himself to the world and discuss his plans and hopes for the world's oldest Football League club.

Here is a breakdown of some of his key points, which were posted on the Notts Twitter page.

What he wants from the Notts players

"I have told the players that it is about unity. Today is the start of a new era and a blank piece of paper. What I am looking for is passion, desire and commitment. We have to show the fans that we want to win. They have to leave everything on the pitch. That is all we can ask of them.

"I understand the frustration of the fans and I have conveyed it to the players. The players need to rise to this challenge. The passion and determination in this club needs to go up a few notches and I think it will."

On speculation linking the club to Harry Redknapp

"I have had lots of conversations with Harry Redknapp this week but they were never about him becoming manager here. I like to surround myself with people who know more than I do and Harry fits that bill with regards to football."

On the appointment of Kevin Nolan as the club's new manager

"Kevin is an outstanding leader. We have 20 games left and we need immediate change on the pitch to ensure our EFL safety. He shares my ambition and desire to have young players come through into the first team."

On the transfer embargo

"It is no secret that there is a transfer embargo in place and we have a court hearing with HMRC on 6 February. It is a hugely complex situation. It is not as easy as me writing a cheque and writing off the debt. I expect to make the last seven days of the transfer window to be able to bring players in. That is my target. I cannot say the embargo will be lifted by Monday. My solicitors are now working on resolving that situation."

On grassroots football and appointing a new academy director

"I have been brought up on local football. I love grassroots football. We have scouts from Forest, Derby, Leicester but never one from Notts watching games. That will change. I will appoint a new Academy Director tomorrow... coming from West Bromwich Albion.

"Once we have secured survival this season I want to bring academy players into the first team. We need to start breeding our own. I want Notts County to be the club of choice for local 12 and 13 year olds who want to become professional footballers."

On the Notts fans

"I have been astounded by the passion of Notts County fans. I think we will get 10,000 people through the gates on Saturday. I want all of the fans to get behind the football club and give us a chance. Come for a few games and we will show this is a new club. I want to encourage children under 12 to be able to come to every game for free. They are our Magpies of the future."

On the Notts training facilities

"One thing holding us back is the lack of a proper training facility. That is one of the key deliverables to unlock success here."

His personal thoughts on becoming the new Notts owner

"Driving into the Chairman's space in the car park was the first time it really sank in for me. The last few weeks have been so stressful. I have not slept for more than 3 hours a night. It is probably 90% a decision [to buy the club] with the heart and 10% with the head. I am torn between excitement, nervousness and being incredibly humbled."

Where he sees Notts in the next five years

"There is no reason that we cannot be as big as our neighbours... there is no reason that we cannot be in the Championship in five years. This is a massive football club but that is not reflected by the success on the pitch. We have a 1, 3 and 5 year plan. We want the debts cleared in 3 years but if it takes 5 then so be it. I am here for the long haul. If this deal did not happen there was a good chance the club would have become extinct."

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Pride of Nottingham is an independent fansite devoted to Notts County, the world’s oldest professional football club. Created in 2013, it has served as a source of Magpie news, features, match previews, reports, analysis and interviews for more than three years.

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