McManus and Appleby quit Fenmen after re-think
By ADAM LAZZARI WISBECH Town’s manager Roy McManus and his assistant Steve Appleby quit the Fenmen this week. McManus announced his resignation to the board at a meeting last Thursday but reconsidered his position after
By ADAM LAZZARI
WISBECH Town’s manager Roy McManus and his assistant Steve Appleby quit the Fenmen this week.
McManus announced his resignation to the board at a meeting last Thursday but reconsidered his position after being overwhelmed by the response of the club’s fans, players and backroom staff.
But on Tuesday he stuck to his original decision and handed in his resignation letter to the board yesterday.
Both McManus and Appleby had become increasingly frustrated with the board’s handling of club affairs, particularly with indecision over the reserve team and a move away from their ground at Fenland Park.
McManus said: “My phone hadn’t stopped ringing over the weekend with people asking me to change my mind.
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“I thought long and hard about it, for a time on Monday I was feeling quite positive and was thinking I could make things work.
“But then I spoke to Steve and he had had a telephone conversation with someone from the board and was told that a ground-share was still being considered next season.
“Everything goes on without our consultation and it’s been a very depressing and frustrating time for me over the last month. My wife tells me I’ve been a bit of a nightmare to be around at home and the whole situation with the club is affecting me in all aspects of life.
“There is a tremendous bunch of players and supporters at the club and I hate to think I am letting them down.
“But the way that club affairs have been handled has gotten me really down and it’s made me lose my enthusiasm for the game.
“Usually managers would meet with the board as soon as the season is finished to discuss plans for next year, but this has not happened – decisions have just been announced to me.”
The board had decided to disband the reserve team to cut costs but changed their mind.
The dramatic u-turn came about when former Wisbech Town director Colin Gant told the board at a meeting last week that he was prepared to cover the extra costs.
McManus said: “The whole situation with the reserve team could have been sorted out a month ago.
“I really enjoyed managing the team last season – especially after we achieved safety – and I wish them all the best for the future.
Appleby said: “Roy encouraged me to go for the manager’s job and I tried to persuade him to stay on.
“But we both think the same way and I think the fact that the board were even considering scrapping the reserves was too much to take.
“We had both been proud of the fact that we give local youngsters a chance to progress through the ranks to a decent level of football. But that wouldn’t happen without a reserve team.”
McManus has turned down an offer from another Ridgeons League club but said he would be willing to work as a Wisbech scout, as he did before he managed the Fenmen.
Appleby, 41, plans to continue his playing career elsewhere.
There are fears that McManus, Appleby’s departure could cause several players to leave.
McManus said: “I really hope for the sake of the club the squad and coaching staff stay together.
“It’s all a bit of a shock to the system for everyone at the moment and nobody seems to know what will happen.”
McManus made Appleby his first signing when he took the Wisbech job from Ian Jones and Mel Mattless in October.
The cash-strapped club had won two and lost six of their nine matches and just suffered a 9-0 thrashing to Soham Town Rangers before the pair steered them away from a Ridgeons Premier Division relegation scrap to a mid-table finish.