Adam Pearson vows to take Hull FC up another level
ADAM Pearson's relaxed demeanour portrays all the hallmarks of a man happy with what he's got.
In his first full year as owner of Hull FC he saw the club clinch a first play-off win on the back of an improved league placing and points total.
It was enough to reward coach Peter Gentle with a new extended deal and as he relaxed at the KC Stadium this week, a new sponsorship deal with Minstergate announced, Pearson cut a figure content with everything Black and White.
But behind the smile, when he speaks it's clear Pearson's desire is still burning hotter than ever. Content he may be. Satisfied? Never.
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"We are starting to step everything up again now. It's about taking everything on another level once again and that applies to all aspects of the club," explains a bullish Pearson.
Talk of the club facing a £500,000 loss when they file their next accounts later this year may have raised concerns with some fans, particularly in the current climate of Super League where frugality and austerity are becoming bywords of the game.
Thankfully for Hull fans, the man at the top is unconcerned. Pointing to a history of running sporting organisations on a sound financial footing for 20 years, the former Hull City owner does not regret his spending.
And spend he has. While the drop in attendances throughout the game have contributed to Hull's losses, it is Pearson's desire to make the club a giant of the game again which has incurred such a big deficit.
And having arrived with a promise to take Hull to the top, he says he's not the type of person to renege on his opening gambit to the fans.
"I made a promise here to invest in this club, which is what I have done," adds Pearson.
"Yes, the club could lose half a million pounds this year, but these losses have been budgeted for and I've done it to improve the club."
Fans may have seen improvements on the field, with Gentle assembling a side for next year which is hoped can break into the top four.
It is the off-the-field investment which has been equally important to Pearson, bringing a set-up he described as simply "not good enough" up to scratch.
"It's not just on the field, we are raising everything again," he adds.
"We are going to Tenerife again for warm-weather training, but this time for eight days.
"We will improve the travel for the players next season, the accommodation, everything has got to go up a notch.
"We are buying new sport science equipment to take us to the next stage and everywhere where we can gain an edge we are trying to do that.
"We are extending the facilities at the Elite Performance Centre at YPI, we are trying to get an all-weather surface put in there which will be great in the winter.
"It is starting to feel like home down there now and we are putting a lot of money into it. We are decorating it and the lads are feeling more and more at home there.
"That is an improvement, there is a new development with the academy which is crucial to us and there will be more news on that in the coming weeks."
The impending news will concern a major new partnership for the club, with Hull taking their academy set-up to Bishop Burton College.
Having invested in a new base at Sirius Academy in the last 18 months, there are no plans to take the youth teams lock stock and barrel to Bishop Burton.
The details are still sketchy at this time with Pearson not wanting to divulge too much information on a deal still in the process of being formalised.
But he did admit it is an opportunity he's eager not to miss.
He added: "We are close to an agreement with Bishop Burton College and are optimistic we will sort something out there.
"It is a state-of-the -art facility that has attracted us there and it is very early for me to be talking about it. But if we can sort a formal arrangement out, from an educational and development point of view for our young players, it is up there with the best facility I've ever seen."
For now, Bishop Burton remains on the back burner, but the progress off the field continues at pace as Pearson pushes on with his pursuit to fulfil a promise.
Losses in the region of £500,000 will not be tolerated in the long term, but the ambitious owner knows he needs to spend to accumulate.
Success on the field remains the number one priority, but whilst working within the limits of the salary cap, it is Pearson's desire to gain any advantage he can in other areas which has sparked the investment.
And, as the owner sums up, it's an investment he is confident will pay dividends.
"There is not going to be any of this going into games and not expecting to win. We want to be going to all the top clubs and winning games," he concludes.
"To do that we needed to invest on and off the field for the future."