Maynard: We have a history of backing our managers

Eastbourne Borough chairman Paul Maynard insists Tommy Widdrington's position as first team manager has not yet been under discussion.

Thursday, 8th December 2016, 4:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:57 pm
Eastbourne Borough chairman Paul Maynard
Eastbourne Borough chairman Paul Maynard

Borough were knocked out of the FA Trophy on Tuesday night at Priory Lane by Ryman League outfit Leiston in front of just 262 fans.

Widdrington’s men are 11th in the National League south table and are 11 points adrift of the play-offs.

Maynard said, “The idea of changing the manager at this point of the season has not been discussed.

“Results on the pitch have been slightly disappointing, I have to admit that. We know where we wanted to be and perhaps we are short of that. The first team manager knows what is expected.

“We can still push for the play-offs but more importantly Tommy still feels we can too.

“Sometimes people make the mistake that what is said on social media reflects the views of all Eastbourne Borough supporters. We are not a club that makes knee jerk reactions and we have a history of backing our managers.”

Out of work Eastbourne based manager Steve King has been spotted at Priory Lane recently, fuelling gossip and speculation on the manager’s position.

Maynard added, “I have never even met Steve King. He’s from Eastbourne, he’s not currently employed and perhaps he wanted to take in a game.”

Borough approached the 2016-17 season with high expectations. The first team budget was increased from the previous campaign and additional income was set to arrive by hiring the newly installed 3G pitch to a six-a side-soccer league. The club also proudly announced the biggest investment deal in their history with East Sussex based business ZBMC Limited. The deal however was delayed by legal issues which Maynard hopes will soon be resolved.

“There has been a delay with the external investment due to typical legal reasons but we are making progress. Discussions are still ongoing and we hope to have some positive news very shortly.”

It’s also proved a challenging time off the field following the resignation of academy manager Chris Agutter and the departure of secretary Jan Field.

“We did our best to persuade Chris to stay but his mind was made up,” Maynard said. “It’s unfair to comment too much further because Chris is still an employee. Chris will remain until December to oversee a smooth handover. We are actively seeking a replacement but until that time Tommy (Widdrington) will be looking after the academy.

“It is extra work for Tommy and it is not sustainable for the long-term. First team manager and academy manager are both full-time roles in their own right.”

Borough boss Widdrington said, “Nobody puts more pressure on me to get results than me. Are we a few points behind where we should be? Yes, any manager will probably tell you the same. I have to be realistic about where we can be. This belief that we have huge spending power is not necessarily true. I know what the budget is and I have to stick within that.

“For various reasons not known to everyone, we finished the game against Leiston with a number of teenagers on the pitch and we couldn’t quite see the game through.”

Borough are without a fixture tomorrow (Saturday) and are next in action on Tuesday as they welcome Chichester in the Senior Cup.