Lewes FC Director Charlie Dobres has spoken to the Sussex Express to clarify the situation surrounding Simon Wormull’s contract, writes Sussex Express sports editor Brian Pollard.
I tweeted soon after news of Wormull’s departure from the club that Wormull had told me he asked for a three-year contract at start of season “which was agreed in principle but nothing was drawn up”.
I added that Wormull told me he felt he could trust the club as a result of this agreement ‘in principle’.
The Argus also reported Wormull saying something similar to them in their edition the following day.
What the 36-year-old former Tottenham and Crawley Town player said to this newspaper was: “I get this week’s money and then that’s it. I asked the board for a three year contract at the start of last season.
“They agreed in principle.
“I had trust in the board.”
However, we never claimed that the club had offered Simon Wormull a three-year contract, nor did I ever think that Simon Wormull had told me that either.
My understanding was that Wormull believed that – because of this agreement he felt had been made in ‘principle’ with the board – he and the club would look to move forward together beyond this season.
How the Argus quoted Simon Wormull on this issue was with the following comments: “What I’m angry about is last summer I agreed a three-year deal.
“I said I wanted that because that would give me the time to do what I wanted to do to build the club.
“The contract was never signed. Maybe it is me being naive but I trusted them.”
But Mr Dobres said: “I have read some reports about Simon being offered a three-year contract when he became the manager last summer.
“I’m not really sure where these came from.
“The club obviously isn’t in a position to offer such a lengthy commitment to any manager, never mind one at the start of his management career.
“Simon was given a full season to show what he could do with his own squad and training regime and we backed him all the way to the end of what became an increasingly difficult year on the pitch.
“At all times, Simon has been a nice guy to work with.
“Ultimately, the Board judges the manager on three criteria: position, performance and progression.
“Position in the league table; the performance of the team on the pitch, which shows how well the training regime is working and the progression of the manager himself in terms of how fast he is developing.
“In other words, league position alone is not necessarily the determining factor.
“Off the pitch, a ton of work has been going on to increase the club’s income and become even more efficient on costs – this is so we can protect and then grow the playing budget.
“Clive (a fellow Director) has done wonders on making the club more energy efficient and our utility bills reflect the amazing job he’s done.
“Adrian (General Manager) has put hours and hours into helping to establish the club’s new Academy as well as working with our sponsors.
“Sponsorship income has held up really well in no small way thanks to him; our incredible Supporters Club were given a stretching target to generate £10k of income and have smashed it.
“Barry in the club shop has driven our sales to an all-time high.
“The list goes on and on so apologies to others I could have mentioned too.
“And our superb fans have once again shown themselves to be the pride of Sussex by making Lewes the best-supported non-league club across the two counties (see table at bottom of page). This during a season when results have not been good to say the least.
“The Board is now moving swiftly to assemble a good list of candidates for the manager’s job and we will appoint someone by the end of this month. As ever, we’ll keep our owners and fans as informed as possible, though obviously we never reveal the names of the people applying.
“Meanwhile, we’ve made it clear to our backroom team of Nick (Asst Manager), Alan (physio) and Pav (kitman) that we very much want them to stay.
“We also think that we have some talented players here and are keen to hang on to them for when the new manager arrives.
“We’re hoping that lots of people turn up to the next scheduled Fans Forum on Wednesday May 15 at the Pan, so we can all discuss the season gone-by and the future.”