Sheffield Wednesday: Every word Garry Monk had to say last night about his spat with Birmingham City boss Pep Clotet
Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk doubled-down on his decision to blast Birmingham City caretaker boss Pep Clotet this week, saying he ‘would not have been true to himself’ had he not spoken the way he had.
The Owls manager claimed Clotet, his former assistant at Swansea, Leeds and Birmingham had ‘lacked loyalty’ after taking over from him as Blues manager in the summer.
And speaking after the two sides’ 1-1 draw at Hillsborough, Monk said he had no regrets over either going on the offensive, or refusing to shake the Spaniard’s hand.
Monk, who previously had a rapport with Birmingham fans after steering them through the difficulty of a deduction of 12 points last season, was booed by the travelling support.
Below is a complete transcript of everything the 40-year-old had to say about the fracas in the post-match press conference.
Do you have any regrets at all about what you said about Pep in the pre-match press conference?
GM: I wasn’t making accusations, I wasn’t making claims, I wasn’t making comments. I was speaking facts, that what it is.
I wish it wasn’t true. Every part of my body wishes it wasn’t true. I have to stay consistent and true to myself. You ask anyone that’s ever worked with me, I’ve been honest and open and that’s who I am.
Whenever you guys ask me questions, I’m honest and open and I answer them honestly.
I was asked the question, so why shouldn’t I stay true to myself, why shouldn’t I be honest and open. And I understand, I didn;t do it for a reaction, I had nothing to gain from it. I know that, I had nothing to gain from that.
But what I have to do in that moment, like I’ve done my whole life, is be open and honest, that’s who I am. I got asked the question and I was open and honest about it. Why should I shy away from that, but I understand the reaction.
The thing you have to remember is I know those fans very well, I know them incredibly well. And I know how passionate they are about their club, I know how hard they will fight to protect their club until the last breath, I was part of that.
I was part of that spirit, that’s what I tapped into. I understand that and I respect that. I didn’t do it for a reaction, I didn’t do it to gain anything, I know that.
But that’s who I am. Everyone that knows me knows that.
There’s a lot of guys in this room, you guys that were with me at Birmingham, you tell me if I’m wrong, every time we spoke and we had conversations, you asked me questions about some difficult things, we had conversations off the record – you tell me if I ever not open and honest with you.
That’s who I am, that’s the truth.
I was asked a question, I’m going to stay true to myself. That’s all I’ve got to say about it. If people don’t like to hear that then I understand that, but I’m going to be who I am, and that’s the key to it. It is what it is. We move on without it, it’s not about it.
Were you surprised by the reaction of the Birmingham fans?
GM: No, like I said, of course I can not answer it, or I can divert from it and not got involved with it. I know that.
You can ask any player, any manager that I played for, any player I’ve managed or any staff member I’ve been with – you ask them if I’ve not been open and honest. It’s who I am.
I got asked the question, I’ve done it my whole life, so why shouldn’t I be open and honest? I’m not here to make accusations, I’m not here to make claims. I’m here talking facts. That’s who I am.
I get it. I didn’t do it for a reaction, I had nothing to gain from it. I know that, I only had criticism to gain from that. But why would I do that if it wasn’t facts that I’m talking about? I have to be true to who I am.
I get the reaction. I understand it and I respect it. Because I was part of it and I’m not part of that club anymore. They’re going to protect that club to the last breath and I get it. That’s all I can say on it. That’s me, again, being open and honest and I can’t be anymore than that.
Can you tell us what Pep has done that’s really upset you?
GM: It’s difficult for me to just say that. It’s difficult for me, not because I don’t want to, but because I want to respect those fans.
I respect the reaction - should I go more into it? I want to. Every part of me should but yeah, I’ll leave it at that.
Do you accept this has damaged your relationship with the Birmingham fans?
GM (to BirminghamLive reporter Brian Dick): I just explained. Brian I worked with you for 18 months. You and me had many conversations – you tell me once when I wasn’t open and honest with you, with every question you asked me. Was I ever not open and honest with you? What was your feeling? You tell me.
That’s me being consistent, that’s all it is. I got asked the question and that’s me being consistent.
We’re in a world where everyone wants honesty, and then you get the honesty and people don’t like it. That’s for them to deal with, that;s not for me to deal with. I have to be true to myself
I’ve got kids and I’ve got family and they need to see me – that’s who I am. I Preach that to them and they need to see that.
It’s not about trying to burn bridges. I had nothing to gain from it. I respect that reaction because I was part of it, and I’m not part of it now, but I get it.
Pep suggested your refusal to shake hands was bad manners. Was that a conscious decision, Garry?
GM: This is a personal situation. That’s nothing against this club, this is a personal situation with someone that I invested a hell of a lot of emotion and time with, and classed as a friend. He chose to do a different thing in the worst possible way and that cuts deep.
That’s all I can say about it. It cuts deep and I’m not going to shy away from that. I’m not going to be fake, I’m going to make things up, that’s not me.
I don’t respect that, so why would I do that? If you don’t respect me, then why would I respect him in that way?
That’s the reason why I didn’t shake his hands.