Dennis Wise

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Dennis Wise
Personal information
Full nameDennis Frank Wise
Date of birth(1966-12-16) 16 December 1966 (age 45)
Place of birthKensington, London, England
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing positionMidfielder
Youth career
1983–1985Southampton
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1985–1990Wimbledon135(27)
1985Grebbestads IF (loan)10(5)
1990–2001Chelsea332(53)
2001–2002Leicester City17(1)
2002–2005Millwall85(7)
2005–2006Southampton11(1)
2006Coventry City13(6)
Total593(95)
National team
1988England U211(0)
1989–1990England B3(1)
1991–2000England21(1)
Teams managed
2003–2005Millwall (player-manager)
2005Southampton (caretaker manager)
2006Swindon Town
2006–2008Leeds United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
 
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Dennis Wise
Personal information
Full nameDennis Frank Wise
Date of birth(1966-12-16) 16 December 1966 (age 45)
Place of birthKensington, London, England
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing positionMidfielder
Youth career
1983–1985Southampton
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1985–1990Wimbledon135(27)
1985Grebbestads IF (loan)10(5)
1990–2001Chelsea332(53)
2001–2002Leicester City17(1)
2002–2005Millwall85(7)
2005–2006Southampton11(1)
2006Coventry City13(6)
Total593(95)
National team
1988England U211(0)
1989–1990England B3(1)
1991–2000England21(1)
Teams managed
2003–2005Millwall (player-manager)
2005Southampton (caretaker manager)
2006Swindon Town
2006–2008Leeds United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Dennis Frank Wise (born 16 December 1966 in Kensington, west London) is an English former football manager and player, and former Executive Director (Football) at Newcastle United.

Wise played as a central midfielder and was noted for his aggressive and highly-competitive style of play. In a career spanning over 20 years, he played for Wimbledon, Leicester City, Millwall, Southampton, Coventry City and, most notably, Chelsea. During his time at Stamford Bridge, Wise won two FA Cups, a League Cup and a Cup Winners' Cup, becoming the club's most successful captain, although has since been overtaken by John Terry.[1]

He also played at international level for much of his career, representing England over a period of ten years. Wise won 21 caps and scored once, on his debut against Turkey on 1 May 1991.[2] He was in the national squad for Euro 2000 and played in all three group games, against Portugal (lost 2–3), Germany (won 1–0) and Romania (lost 2–3).[3]

In the latter years of his playing career, Wise gradually became involved in the managerial aspects of the game, starting at Millwall, where he took on the role of player-manager. He was briefly caretaker manager at Southampton, following the departure of Harry Redknapp, before he took over the reins at Swindon Town on a permanent basis. In October 2006, he was appointed manager of the then-Championship side Leeds United, who found themselves in the relegation zone. Although they were ultimately relegated, Wise reshaped his side in the close season and Leeds made an excellent start to their first season in the third tier of English football.

In a surprise career move, despite their strong position and likelihood of promotion, Wise left Leeds in January 2008 to join the newly reshaped management team at Newcastle United in an executive role, tasked with travelling around Europe and further afield identifying young players and developing the academy.[4] Wise left Newcastle on 1 April 2009.[5] Following the situation that led to his departure, Wise admitted "It has all had a damaging effect on my career".[6]

Contents

Playing career

Wimbledon

Wise started his career as an apprentice with Southampton, but was left without a club after he fell out with manager Lawrie McMenemy. He moved to Wimbledon on 28 March 1985 at the age of 18 and remained at Plough Lane for over 5 years as Wimbledon consolidated their position in Division One, having risen from Division Four in only four years. He was a member of the Wimbledon "Crazy Gang" that defeated hot favourites Liverpool 1–0 at Wembley in the 1988 FA Cup Final and supplied the cross from a free kick from which Lawrie Sanchez headed home the winning goal.[7]

During autumn of 1985, Wise was loaned to Swedish non-league club Grebbestads IF, where he scored 5 goals in 10 games.

Chelsea

He signed for Chelsea on 3 July 1990 for a then-club record fee of £1.6 million. His time there would span 11 years, from 1990 to 2001. In his time at Chelsea the combative midfielder became the player with the fourth most appearances in the club's history, featuring 445 times and scoring 76 goals, including a memorable Champions League equaliser in the San Siro against A.C. Milan in 1999. He was also Chelsea's top scorer in the 1991–92 season with 14 goals from midfield. Wise captained the Chelsea teams that won the FA Cup in 1997 and 2000, the League Cup in 1998 and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1998. He was also twice voted club player of the year, in 1998 and 2000. With new manager Claudio Ranieri seeking to lower the average age of the Chelsea squad, he was sold to Leicester City on 25 June 2001 for £1.6 million.

Wise always remained a controversial figure, leading Sir Alex Ferguson to say that he could "start a fight in an empty house".[8] His time at Chelsea was tarnished by disciplinary problems and unsavoury off-the-field incidents. In 1995 he was convicted of assaulting a London taxi-driver[9] and given a three-month prison sentence, which was later overturned on appeal. Nonetheless, the incident still saw him stripped of the Chelsea captaincy by manager Glenn Hoddle. In April 1999, he was accused of "biting" Marcelino Elena of RCD Mallorca in a Cup Winners' Cup tie,[10] and in the 1998–99 season he missed a total of 15 games through suspension.

Leicester City

Wise's time at Leicester was less successful and equally marred by controversy. He made just 17 league appearances, scoring once against Liverpool,[11] and was sent home from a pre-season tour of Finland and suspended by the club on 20 July 2002 after breaking the nose and jaw of team-mate Callum Davidson, who was trying to act as a peacemaker in a dispute between Wise and another player.[12]

As a result of the assault, Wise was sacked by the club for serious misconduct on 2 August.[13] Surprised by the dismissal, he contacted the Professional Footballers' Association and appealed against the decision.[14] The Football League Disciplinary Commission later ruled that Wise had been harshly treated by Leicester and ordered that he be reinstated and given the maximum punishment of two weeks' wages (about £70,000).[15] The tribunal's order led the club to launch an appeal against the decision,[15] which they won on 18 September.[16]

Wise sued Leicester for wrongful dismissal and more than £2.36 million in lost earnings in October 2002,[17] later receiving death threats (the club were £30 million in debt and in danger of administration).[18] Now playing for Millwall, in a match against Leicester in November 2002 in which the visiting fans were banned from The New Den,[18] Wise avenged his sacking by scoring an equaliser in a 2–2 draw.[19]

Millwall

Wise then signed for Millwall on 24 September 2002 and became player-manager in 2003. Millwall were the first team from outside the top flight to reach the FA Cup final since 1992 when Wise led them to the their first ever FA Cup Final in 2004. The First Division side lost to reigning Premiership champions Manchester United 3–0. Despite losing, Millwall qualified for a place in the UEFA Cup for the first time in their history, as United had already qualified for the Champions League. They were knocked out in the first round by Hungarian champions Ferencvaros. He resigned at the end of the 2004–05 season, citing a disagreement with the new chairman as his motive.[20]

Southampton

Wise returned to Southampton on a free transfer on 27 June 2005 and made 12 appearances for the club. With the resignation of Harry Redknapp, he was briefly joint-caretaker manager of the club with Dave Bassett. However, he left St Mary's on 26 December, when George Burley was appointed as the new manager.[21] He scored once in the league for Southampton, in a 2–2 draw with Ipswich Town.[22]

Coventry City

It was not long before Wise was playing again, as he signed a short-term "pay-as-you-play" deal with Coventry City on 19 January 2006. He joined up once again with Micky Adams, who had been his manager whilst he was at Leicester. He made an emphatic start, beginning his spell with Coventry by scoring a goal in each of his first three games with the club. On 9 May, out-of-contract Wise was released from the Ricoh Arena, along with fellow veteran Richard Shaw.

Managerial career

Swindon Town

On 22 May 2006, Wise was appointed Swindon Town manager on a three-year contract, with ex-Chelsea team mate Gustavo Poyet as his assistant.[23] He made an excellent start to the season by winning 6 out of 7 games and topping the League Two table with 18 points after a 2–0 away win against Chester City on 1 September. As a result of this tremendous start, Wise was awarded the Manager of the Month award.[24]

Wise's first defeat as Swindon boss came against Wrexham in their league clash at the Racecourse Ground. His second defeat and first home defeat in charge of the Robins came against Peterborough United on 16 September 2006. This loss left Swindon second in the table behind Wycombe Wanderers.

Leeds United

On 20 September 2006, Wise was linked with the vacant Leeds United managerial post, following the sacking of Kevin Blackwell.[25] On 21 October, Swindon gave Wise, and his assistant Poyet, permission to speak to Leeds, following their request.[26] However, talks broke down between the clubs when they were unable to agree a suitable financial package and on 23 October, Swindon withdrew permission for Leeds to talk with, or seek to appoint, Wise and Poyet, stating that "Dennis and Gus remain valued members of Swindon Town FC as both players and part of the management team". In a bid to keep hold of the pair, the club offered them both significantly improved terms.[27] Later that day, Swindon confirmed that they had reached a suitable financial settlement package with Leeds for the services of Dennis Wise and Gus Poyet and that they looked set to join.[28] Following the successful negotiation of acceptable compensation in line with the expectations of Swindon Town, on 24 October, the boards of both clubs officially confirmed that Dennis Wise, Gus Poyet and Andrew Beasley had joined Leeds United as manager, assistant manager and goalkeeping coach respectively.[29][30][31]

On the evening of his arrival, Wise watched from the stands at Elland Road as he saw his new side crash to a 3–1 defeat in the League Cup against fellow Championship side Southend United.[32] He received a standing ovation from fans and in a press conference unveiling him to the media, he said that he believed that it did not matter that he formerly played for Chelsea. In the interview he stated that his aim was to bring Leeds back into the Premiership. His first action as manager was to replace captain Paul Butler and his vice-captain Gary Kelly with the feisty, hard-tackling midfielder Kevin Nicholls, along with Shaun Derry as his deputy.

Wise's first game in charge came 4 days later, ironically against Southend at Elland Road again, though this time it was a league fixture and Leeds won the game 2–0. However, they continued to struggle for the remainder of the season under Wise and relegation was confirmed on 4 May 2007 with only one game remaining, when the Football League gave the club a 10-point penalty for going into administration.[33] Leeds finished bottom of the league and they were relegated into League One for the first time in their history. Nonetheless, chairman Ken Bates retained Wise for the 2007–08 season.

On 4 August, Leeds were granted their golden share, but they were given another penalty, this time 15 points, after administrators KPMG refused to resurrect the CVA for the 'old' Leeds United company.[34] Despite this, they made an excellent start, winning their first 7 league games and Wise was named as manager of the month for both August and September.[35][36] However, on 29 October 2007, Poyet left Leeds to become Juande Ramos's assistant at Tottenham.[37] Three days later, Wise's ex-manager at Wimbledon, Dave Bassett, became his number two.[38] The partnership did not start well and Leeds finally lost their unbeaten record, losing 3–1 to Carlisle United at Brunton Park on 3 November.

Leeds briefly topped the table on Boxing Day, after drawing 1–1 in an early kick-off against Hartlepool United at the Victoria Ground and they went into 2008 3rd in the league. Wise left the club on 28 January 2008 in a surprise move to take up a role at Newcastle United, his last game in charge being a 1–1 draw against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road on 26 January.[39][40]

Executive roles

Newcastle United

On 29 January 2008 Newcastle United announced that Wise would be joining the club as Executive Director (Football),[41] an advisor to the board on footballing matters, reporting directly to the club chairman Chris Mort. Although speculated to be in the role of Director of Football or General Manager, the job is thought to be more restricted, involving transfers, scouting and youth development,[42] alongside simultaneous appointment of Tony Jimenez as Vice President (Player Recruitment) and Jeff Vetere as Technical Co-ordinator, following the earlier shock return of first team manager Kevin Keegan. Keegan had previously expressed disquiet with the concept of a Director of Football, both in commenting about the previous Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce, and latterly the proposition of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley appointing one during his tenure at the club.

In the surprise career move, Wise had been attributed as having lost interest in direct football management since the loss of his assistant Gustavo Poyet to Tottenham Hotspur, and considered the executive position at Newcastle an opportunity "he had to take".[42] Wise's role, as stated by Ashley, was to be a '"football-related" executive director'.[43] In a February 2008 interview, Christopher Mort revealed that Newcastle had "heard on the grapevine" that Wise was considering a "move upstairs".[4] Wise was selected as his relative youth and being a "bundle of energy" suited the new role that would involve "travelling around Europe and further afield".[4] Wise, with Vetere, was tasked with helping identify young players for approval by first team manager Kevin Keegan.[4] Wise's role would also entail him helping develop the academy.[4]

The departure of Keegan from the club, on 4 September, saw Wise and club owner Ashley come under mounting pressure from the club's supporters to quit. Keegan, a manager with an exalted status among supporters of the club, stated that, "It's my opinion that a manager must have the right to manage and that clubs should not impose upon any manager any player that he does not want," adding that he had "no choice other than to leave".[43] Keegan was furious to discover that James Milner, a player he had previously stated was not for sale, had been allowed to sign a contract with Aston Villa, and he was not given adequate time or funds to bring in new players; Keegan had let his dislike of the management structure be known in the months leading up to his resignation.[43] Speculation of Keegan's resignation built in the days leading up, and a large number of fans began protesting at Ashley's employment of Wise, and his alleged interference.[44] The club issued a statement in response to Keegan's claim, and the widespread belief that Wise was responsible for transfer activity, by saying that Keegan was aware of the structure when he re-joined the club.[45] Thousands of fans protested against Ashley and Wise, dubbed the "cockney mafia", in the 2–1 home defeat to Hull City on 13 September, although neither Ashley nor Wise attended the match.[46] Days later Ashley released an emotional statement in which he announced that he was putting the club up for sale; Wise came in for praise from Ashley, who said that he had successfully scouted and closed out deals for a number of recent signings.[47]

Wise further angered Newcastle United fans when he was shown often attending Chelsea home games (and the FA Cup Final). Later, it was revealed he spent the vital last day of the 2009 season in Dubai celebrating his wife's birthday, showing a surprising disinterest in the outcome of a club in which he had very recently been involved. In fact both of Wise's signings (Xisco and Ignacio Gonzalez) failed to feature in the club's final game. While these signings have received fairly negative views from Newcastle fans, the late Sir Bobby Robson and newspaper pundits have slated them as second rate signings.[48]

On 1 April 2009, following the appointment of Alan Shearer as manager on an interim basis, Newcastle released a statement that Wise had left his role as Executive Director of Football with immediate effect. The club also confirmed that there were no plans to replace Wise.[49]

In an interview with the Guardian on 28 July 2009, it was revealed Wise is still receiving £20,000 per week from Newcastle United and was cited as one of the many reasons buyers were reluctant to purchase the club.[50]

After the death of Sir Bobby Robson, The Sun's Bob Harris wrote how Robson told him: "My biggest disappointment was Dennis Wise, a director of football who was hardly seen at the ground, and who brought in players who were neither suitable, nor right, for Newcastle United. I forgive most people, but I am not sure I can forgive Wise for what he did to my club."[51]

Wise attended a football arbitration hearing in September and October 2009 established to resolve the dispute between Keegan and the Newcastle board. Wise's actions in signing Nacho Gonzalez, claiming he wanted to 'do a favour' for two South American agents, and asking Keegan to sign players from YouTube.com, as well as confessions from the board that they had lied to the fans, press, staff and players regarding Keegan's allegations, claiming it was just 'PR,' led to the panel ruling in favour of Keegan.[52]

Wise's image thereafter has been damaged, and himself admitted "It has all had a damaging effect on my career".[6]

Honours

As a player

Wimbledon
Chelsea
England national football team

As a player-manager

Millwall

Career statistics

Club performanceLeagueCupLeague CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeagueAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
EnglandLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
1984–85WimbledonSecond Division1000000010
1985–864000000040
1986–87First Division284110200314
1987–8830106220003812
1988–89375315000456
1989–90358105000418
1990–91ChelseaFirst Division33101072004112
1991–9238104221004413
1992–93Premier League273005100324
1993–94354402200416
1994–95196203051297
1995–96357712000448
1996–97313732000406
1997–98263004190393
1998–99220512081372
1999–200030452001545010
2000–01363301010413
2001–02Leicester CityPremier League171101000191
2002–03MillwallFirst Division293000000293
2003–04311400000351
2004–05Championship253000022275
2005–06SouthamptonChampionship111001000121
2005–06Coventry CityChampionship136000000136
TotalEngland593955911466408738120
Career total593955911466408738120

Internationals goals

#DateVenueOpponentScoreResultCompetition
1.1 May 1991İzmir Atatürk Stadium, İzmir, Turkey Turkey
0–1
0–1
UEFA Euro 1992 qualifying

Managerial statistics

TeamNatFromTo
PWDLSuccess
Rate %
MillwallEngland15 October 20039 May 20058936242940.45
Swindon TownEngland22 May 200624 October 20061795352.94
Leeds UnitedEngland24 October 200628 January 20089947193347.47

Managers' Success Rate is based on wins per 100 games. The statistics include all League, Cup & European first team fixtures. Correct as of 20 September 2008

References

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  2. ^ "Turkey 0 – England 1; 1 May 1991 (Match summary)". www.englandstats.com. http://www.englandstats.com/matchreport.php?mid=670. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  3. ^ "England Player Profile: Dennis Wise". www.englandfc.com. http://www.englandfc.com/Profiles/php/PlayerProfileByName.php?id=1080. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d e The Mag Fanzine Issue 224 – 23 February 2008, Interview with Newcastle United chairman Chris Mort, p21-22
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  7. ^ [1]
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