Selsey Football Club have made the shock move to sack Ryan Pharo just four months after he took over as first-team manager.
Pharo, who took over following Adam Hinshelwood’s resignation, was relieved of his duties on Saturday during a phone call with club chairman David Lee.
The decision comes as a major surprise to many around the league after the team had began to produce results.
Lee said the decision had nothing to do with the team’s form, however, and was part of the club looking for a change in direction, which includes an increased focus on their youth set-up Selsey Seals.
The decision followed a members’ meeting held to set out our plans going forward. The meeting was held because of the financial situation the club was in.
A club statement said: “While the club is not in debt, it has become apparent of late that should the situation not be remedied then things would become worse.
“Having looked at everything, it is apparent that there is something missing and it has been decided that the way forward is to forge stronger links with the Selsey Seals.
“History has shown clubs who do not have a plan will struggle, and only last week we have seen Rye United withdraw from the Sussex League for apparent financial and ground-grading issues.
“The committee has resolved they will not allow this to happen to Selsey.”
Pharo was vocal in expressing his disappointment, telling the Observer his dismissal was ‘a major shock’.
“I got a call from the chairman on Saturday morning and originally I thought it was to do with the club’s finances, but I was told they were going to let me go,” Pharo said.
“I was asked to leave the club by mutual consent but I told the chairman I didn’t want to leave and that I didn’t want it on the record as mutual consent because I’m not a quitter.”
Pharo said he felt ‘let down by the chairman’ and he believed he had the backing of the players.
However, the young boss doesn’t think this is the end of his career in management, saying: “I’ve had a few calls and we’ll see what happens.”
Lee was keen to wish Pharo well, adding: “The committee does want to put on record our many thanks to Ryan and thank him for all his work since Adam’s departure. Ryan has a long future ahead of him and we wish him all the best.”
Steve Bailey, previously assistant boss who has close links with the Seals, has been appointed as manager with immediate effect and will take charge of their next match, which is at Shoreham this weekend.