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Malcolm Boyes11 Apr - 17:17
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Success is no guarantee that anyone will keep their job it seems, however there are two sides to every story, as always.

Successful clubs, records would indicate, have stability from top to bottom.
Walton & Hersham FC recently parted company with their manager, Scott Harris, which was a surprise to many of their fans as the club has had a very good period under his tenure and despite a slow start to this campaign they are well placed to finish well.

A manager losing his job in football is not unusual and of course some choose to resign, or they leave by mutual consent, or the club sacks them, only those involved really know the truth and mostly it is kept between the relevant parties.

However, that is not so easy in these social media savvy days where every supporter can voice their opinion, whether they agree or disagree with a decision, especially when the club have announced that their manager has departed.

The club put out the following statement on Monday, 8th April 2024:
“The club can announce the departure of First Team Manager Scott Harris.
“Upon his appointment to the role in April 2020, Scott outlined a clear vision and strategy to return the club to Step 3 within five seasons. That vision was realised in a minimal possible timeframe of just three seasons, achieving a near-unprecedented third consecutive promotion and subsequent return to Step 3 at the end of the 22/23 season.
“It is simply impossible to put into words the debt of gratitude that is owed to Scott for his contribution to the club over the past four years. “Our success since then, both on-and-off the field, can be attributed in significant part to Scott’s perseverance, hard work and unbound dedication, something for which all at Walton & Hersham FC are eternally indebted.
“Scott departs W&H as the most successful manager of the modern Swans era, having secured three consecutive promotions, a League Cup win, a club-record 14 straight wins, and overseeing a 700% jump in average home league attendances since the beginning of his tenure.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything Scott.”

A very nice statement, although it does not say why he left, did he resign, was he sacked or did they mutually agree to go their separate ways. The news was met with incredulity by many of the clubs fans and many took to social media in shock.

Following that club statement, their now former manager went on to social media and issued his own statement which said the following:
“I have been fired as Walton & Hersham manager today (Tuesday). I want to thank all of my players over the last few years, and all of the support I have had from many local people along the way.”

You can make your own mind up as to that response and whether it is a hostile response to the club statement or just a cold and disappointing post bearing in mind he has just left a club where he had been successful.

However it was meant, it made the club want to issue a further statement as they wanted to clarify the situation and give further substance as to why their manager was no longer in situ, the statement issued (Wednesday) was as follows:
“In light of the recent public commentary and speculation, we would like to provide further details relating to this week’s departure of Scott Harris as manager of Walton & Hersham FC.
“Earlier this season, Scott tendered his resignation as First Team Manager to the board. This came as a complete shock, and was unanimously rejected by the board for two reasons: Firstly, we owed it to Scott to stand firmly by him during a difficult period, and secondly, felt that he was entitled to depart the club under more favourable circumstances – with the chance to receive a send-off befitting his outstanding achievements at W&H.
“With the help of First Team Head Coach Billy Rowley, Scott reversed his decision to step away from the club, to the great relief of the board. We re-iterated that the only expectation was to establish ourselves in the Southern League, and to lay the foundations for seasons to come – something that has been achieved with great success this season.
“As proud stewards of this great club, we are committed to its continued long-term success. With the core aim of establishing ourselves in the Southern League clearly achieved, we recently undertook a comprehensive review of how the club operates. We concluded that significant changes were needed in respect to footballing operations, and consequently came to the immensely difficult decision to part ways with Scott, effective following the conclusion of the 23/24 season.
“This decision was communicated to Scott on Monday evening, with the club strongly wanting him to see out the season as manager and receive a richly-deserved send-off. Regretfully, Scott departed the club with immediate effect, and his decision to do so is one we completely understand and respect.
“We can confirm that First Team Head Coach Billy Rowley will lead the side through until the end of the season, supported by First Team Coach Darren Simpson.
“We hope to make a full announcement regarding the future First Team management following the conclusion of this season.
“Sartej, Christopher, and Calogero will all be present at Saturday’s game at home to Sholing, and will be available in the bar after the game to chat with supporters for as long as required, in regard to the future direction of the club.
“We reiterate the debt of gratitude owed to Scott for his contribution to the club since 2020, and wholeheartedly wish him the very best in his future endeavours. Whilst we regret that our time together came to an end under such circumstances, it does not detract from the unprecedented success achieved working with one another, producing achievements that will remain in the history books forever.
“Scott, thank you so much for everything. Please don’t be a stranger.
“We urge everyone connected with the club to get behind Billy, Darren, and the boys this weekend, as we seek to end the season on the strongest possible note, and continue building for the future.”

Only time will tell if the club have made the right decision or not.

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