Isthmian LeagueNews

Russell Resigns from Rams


Tony Russell has left his role as Ramsgate Manager after just 25 days in charge.

Ahead of their first pre-season friendly on Friday a disagreement between Russell and Rams Chairman James, seemingly over how player budget would be spent, has resulted in the former Cray Wanderers and Lewes Manager walking away from the Isthmian League club.

“The whole club was very excited to see Tony’s time at the club officially start with our friendly against Kennington. The standard football club chats and messages were exchanged and it was refreshing to feel genuinely positive on a rare Friday match day.

At around midday we received a message from Tony resigning from the club. Although unclear at first this seems to have stemmed from a miscommunication over small elements of agreements made when Tony took the job. These types of issues are common in any business and are often solved through communication but that was not to be achieved on this occasion. Seb contacted members of the coaching team to find out more information with a very keen eye on the friendly that was just hours away. We received confirmation at 16.30 that the management team would not be travelling to the match.

It is an unfortunate, unplanned situation but one where we now need to fcous on the future and our preperations for the season ahead. Football teaches us to expect and deal with the unexpected.

From this point onwards you are pretty much caught up. We moved quickly to inform Kennington, the players and officials and to make a statement.

I want to sincerely apologise to all of you guys and to Kennington for having to cancel the game on Friday evening but you now have an understanding of the position we were in.

The future is very bright for the coming season. The key objective of the club is to sustainably provide entertainment to the local community. We have great people including fans, players, coaches and back room staff who have become very good at achieving these goals.

I will provide another update as soon as I have one.”

Tony Russell reacted to that statement with one of his own, clearing up a few matters in the process;

“I had no plans to make a statement as I didn’t want to add to an already difficult situation for everyone connected to the club. However, I feel I do need to clear some things up. There was no fallout or argument between me and James. In fact, we got on really well. It just came down to 3 agreements that I thought we agreed on, and James thought we had agreed on something else. I knew having that sort of conversation so early into a relationship wouldn’t end well, because we would be questioning each other’s integrity, which will never end well and out of respect, I didn’t want to do it. And even if you do agree on something, it would damage the long-term relationship. So I thought about it, and the only two plays for me were to just go along with it or come away from it.”

“The fact I was having to think like this after four weeks was ultimately the reason why I took the latter option. I really like James and don’t have a problem with him. I never thought for one minute he was trying his luck; I just felt maybe our conversation from 4 weeks ago may have been diluted a little. As I said, James is a good guy who is so passionate about Ramsgate and Thanet as an area. The work he and Ramsgate do for the local community is unbelievable, and I don’t think he and the club get enough credit for it. I have so much respect for the work you guys are doing. I read that I came in and got rid of the team from last year. I came in pretty late into the summer, so most of the team had left. I only let go of three players from last year. Jack Paxman (right back): I was told no one from the club had spoken to him since last season, so I reached out & had a chat with him. He had a few offers, and Aaron Barnes had signed a week before I had come in, so I felt it was best for him to move on. Jack Paxman and Lee Martin are the other two. With the club having such a great run in the FA Cup, reinforcements had been brought in, so the wage bill would be returned to what it was at the start of the season.”

“So it was a financial decision.”

“I felt we could bring in 3-4 players with that money. As for the rest, you would have to ask the club about that as I don’t know. I do feel I owe everyone connected to the club an apology for my part in this; it is not ideal, and for that, I am so sorry.”

Ramsgate begin their Isthmian League South East Division season on August 10th.


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