JOHN SUTER admitted he was stunned to be sacked as Wick & Barnham United Football Club manager on Sunday.
Suter took over at Crabtree Park in June having previously been manager of the club from 1974 to 1977. He has described the decision as knee-jerk, after Wick chairman Peter Whittle said it was due to a clash of personalities with players, rather than results-based, after three successive defeats to start the season.
Suter said: “I’m stunned. When you’ve been in football as long as I have, you think that nothing will surprise you but this has. It’s come out of the blue. We were just eight days and three games into the season and the chairman has sacked me.
“To say it’s down to a clash of personality between myself and the players is completely untrue. I believe it was just three or four players that had been complaining on social media and to the chairman because they were either on the bench or being played out of position.
“One of these players didn’t even turn up to one game because he was to be on the bench. I believe, at this time, the chairman should have supported his elected manager and told the players to do likewise. The actuality of it is that I’ve had a lot of support from the majority of the squad, via phone calls and text messages and at least three players have now left the club.
“We lost our first game of the season 3-0 at home and following that l made changes and was rewarded with a much-improved performance. However, some players were unable to accept not starting, and found that the manager was an easy target. To be sacked this early in the season beggars belief. I’ve always had a good relationship with players at every club I’ve been at.”
Suter added that he would never have walked away from the club and said: “Football is a game of opinions. I felt some players weren’t good enough to play so didn’t start them and, ultimately, the manager’s decision should be final. You can’t, and shouldn’t have, players running a football club and I feel that this is what it has amounted to.
“I had four new players coming to training this week which would have bolstered the squad, in numbers and quality.
“The chairman appointed me, but now he has disappointed me. I would never have walked away from the club, I was up for the fight even though I knew it would be tough this year.
“Wick is my heart club, it’s where I grew up and I played for the club from when I was 15.”
Despite three defeats to start the season, Wick chairman Whittle insisted the decision was not based on results and said: “There was a clash of personality between John and the players. The decision was nothing to do with results. The results are what we would expect with the side we’ve got at the moment.
“John and the players just didn’t get on and we’re now looking for a new manager. There’s a couple of names in the hat already but we welcome people to send in their CVs.
“It’s difficult times for the club at the moment and will be for the next few months but we’ve got to focus on getting some stability with the appointment of a new manager. Wick needs players, committee members and now a manager, how much worse can it get?”
Anyone interested in joining the committee at Wick or applying for the managerial position can call Peter Whittle on 07710 132273.
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