Brentford owner Matthew Benham says the Championship club "didn't get it right whatsoever" when they appointed Marinus Dijkhuizen as head coach in the summer.
The Dutchman was sacked by the Bees in September after winning just two of their first eight games of the season.
"We did a lot of research and looked at his record," Benham said.
"One of the big mistakes we made is that we got quite far down the line and were pretty committed and then we got a very bad reference. We discounted it."
Dijkhuizen, 43, had been a lower-league manager in the Netherlands before an 18-month stint with Excelsior.
He led the Rotterdam-based club to promotion to the Dutch Eredivisie and kept the club in the top flight last season, finishing 15th.
"The bad reference was from the agent of someone who was a substitute in his team," Benham added.
"We said: 'Of course it's a bad reference, he's bitter about not playing. We can ignore that.' It is a mistake I have made many times over the years in betting.
"Once you are committed to a certain bet and you get some evidence that goes against it, you easily dismiss it. It's confirmation bias. It [the reference] didn't agree with our views so we ignored it."
Speaking at the Matchbook Traders Conference in London on Wednesday, Benham also said he was unhappy with the term 'Moneyball' being applied to the west London club.
Benham has increased the use of analytics and statistics at Griffin Park this season, following the successful introduction of similar methods at Danish champions FC Midtjylland, whom he also owns.
Moneyball is a system which emerged in baseball in which the smart use of undervalued statistics allowed financially disadvantaged teams to compete with better-resourced rivals.
"The Moneyball idea wasn't using any old statistics, but using statistics in an academic and scientific exercise to predict things," he said.
"The label can be very confusing.
"People just think it is using any stats, rather than trying to use them in a scientific way.
"It is almost inevitable that most of the media will say 'they will only use analytics and there will be no human interaction whatsoever'."