Isthmian League

Ashford United try to explain how they pressed the self-destruct button

In light of what has appeared on Social Media over the last couple of days, Ashford United have given its view on Gary Alexander’s departure as manager of the Club.

In a statement that they have put out on their official website they give a timeline of the events as they happened although do not give any reasoning for the decision made.


After our game against Herne Bay at the weekend, we had a board meeting planned to discuss Gary’s future as manager, amongst other ongoing issues.

Ahead of the meeting, we wanted to speak to Gary to discuss several concerns that had been brought to our attention.

Usually, after the game, our management team would come to the boardroom to discuss the latest match; whether it be a win, lose or draw.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Gary and his management team didn’t come to the boardroom on this occasion. After we had spoken to the Herne Bay directors, the officials and other invited guests, we walked along to the bar at Homelands, only to be told that Gary had already left the ground.

At this point, we had our board meeting and it was unanimously decided that a managerial change would be in the best interests of the club.

We notified our Director of Football, Jason Whitmore, and explained the situation to him. We told him that we hadn’t been able to speak to Gary but had reached our decision and would be making a managerial change.

As Gary had left the ground, we called him to explain our decision. Sadly, because he didn’t answer the phone, we felt it was only fair to notify him of our decision personally, so that he received the news from a board member. This is why we sent a text message. We wanted to be respectful to Gary and to discuss the reasons for reaching our decision. Gary responded immediately to our text by sending a text message himself, rather than returning our call, so sadly this wasn’t possible.

From this point, various things have been said and done – some of which hasn’t shown the club in the best light. This is unfortunate and is the reason why we have decided to go public on the situation.

Once again, the club would like to place on record it’s thanks to Gary Alexander and his management team. We have reached this decision in the best interests of Ashford United Football Club and the search for a new manager is ongoing. We hope to have further news on this as soon as possible.

Ashford fans and the wider community have been amazed by the decision especially as the team had just won 4-1 that day to make it three wins in a row and move up to 7th place. Equally disappointing is that the news was delivered by text and not face to face. Although some reasons are outlined in the statement they could surely have sat on their decision for a day or two until a meeting could be arranged where they could lay out their reasoning face to face.

It seems like Ashford have pressed the self-destruct button here as they were heading towards a play-off place. Having seen them at Greenwich Borough two weeks ago I was hugely impressed and their line-up contains quite a few players that should be playing a level or two up from this. What happens to them only time will tell but it would not surprise me too much if a few were playing somewhere else as we enter the New Year.

For more from Ashford please visit their website here

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