Essex Senior League: Joint-managers Allan Fenn and Billy Cove step down at Ilford
PUBLISHED: 09:39 19 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:39 19 May 2018
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Joint-managers Allan Fenn and Billy Cove have stepped down from Ilford football club.
The management duo led the club to a mid-table in the Essex Senior League after building a team from scratch for the 2017/18 season.
Fenn and Cove were informed about off-pitch over email and believe they have been pushed out of the club by Chairman Michael Foley.
“I’ve been over there 23 years on and off, I’ve been captain, manager, acting chairman, I’ve done a lot and it pains me to be leaving my beloved club,” Fenn said.
“I’m Ilford through and through, I’ve turned down a hell of a lot of jobs over the years to stay at Ilford and some fairly interested ones too, but everything comes to an end and every manager gets the sack.
“I just feel I was owed a little better after all the work I put in over four years for nothing at great cost for myself and my family emotionally and financially.
“I feel we deserved a bit better but we’re going to go our separate ways now and the players we had signed have been told.”
The long-serving manager revealed he had been working tirelessly behind the scenes to help the club push on and challenge at the top end of the table.
“For the last six months I’ve been working really hard to try and get a new board in and a backroom team to be able to take the club forward.
“I wanted assurances that this will be in place before I commit to another season and we managed to get some good players back involved and on board but questions weren’t being answered.
“We have now found out why as this morning Michael Foley has turned and said that he has made a decision to bring in former manager Martin Haywood to the club from Waltham Abbey reserves along with a secretary and someone who can secure finance straight away.
“The five to six people we had intended to invest in the club he has just blown us all out of the water with this email and therefore we’ve all just said thanks very much and after four years I’ve been sacked.”
The former Haringey Borough manager admitted he’s upset and bitter about his dismissal because of the way it was conducted.
“To be able to spend four years there trying to clean and wash the kit and plough in money myself that I haven’t got taking an immense toll on me and my partner who are not together anymore and to be able told my email is just disgraceful in my opinion.
“I’m feeling upset because of the way I’ve been dealt with but at the same time because I was so emotionally involved with the club and I couldn’t walk away from it.
“They’ve now made a decision for me and I actually feel quite good about it as I can go work somewhere else.
“I do feel bitter, I don’t wish them well, the amount of messages I’ve got from players and managers is overwhelming.
“I can walk away with my head held high and I can go into a job that I can own and excel and do really well.”
He is also pleased that he can go elsewhere and enjoy building a team or pushing a club forward.
“I think the word is liberating if I’m honest, I’ve not enjoyed it for the last four years, it’s been a case of more off-field problems and drama than on it and we’ve not been able to build or sustain a successful team.
“Mainly because of the problems off the pitch.”
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