Notts County owner Alan Hardy has admitted that he would not have bought the club were he able to turn back time and also described himself as "not the ideal football chairman".
Hardy enjoyed a superb 18 months from when he took over at Meadow Lane in January 2017 to the end of last season, helping the Magpies survive relegation against all odds in 2016-17 before sealing a playoff finish the following term.
However, things have not gone to plan this season, with the Notts team putting in some frankly risible performances in League Two to drop right to the foot of the table, a fall from grace which spelt the end of Kevin Nolan's reign at the club.
Hardy admitted during a press conference on Monday that he has made plenty of mistakes during his reign and confessed that his introduction to the football industry has shattered the romanticism often associated with the sport.
“If I could rewind the clock back 18 months, I would not have bought the club,” he is quoted by the Nottingham Post as saying.
“I think football is a bubble and this was described brilliantly to me by Gary Brazil (Nottingham Forest coach) a couple of years ago. When you are inside that bubble, you very rarely see anything outside of it.
“Gary said that people need to step out of it and see the real world and they don’t. People who are more removed from it see this beautiful industry that’s immense fun and excitement.
“It’s not. It’s selfish, it’s cutthroat, and incredibly demanding. It’s emotionally challenging and pulls at your own personal values. You end up behaving in a way aligned to the industry, and not aligned to you.
“It’s surprised me how ruthless it is. It challenges you in lots of ways you wouldn’t expect.”
Hardy also stated that, while he has received messages praising the work he has done so far with the club surviving relegation then reaching the playoffs last term, it remains of little significance.
“It’s nice, but it doesn’t resonate with me,” he said. “That’s because I am not the ideal football chairman. I am too up and too down.
“You talk to somebody like Peter Ridsdale for example, he is incredibly straight down the middle. He doesn’t get carried away when the team loses, and he doesn’t get carried away when they win. He handles change very well.”