Block leaves Arundel and quits football

Gary Block
Gary Block

GARY Block has quit football after leaving his position as joint manager at Arundel Football Club by mutual consent last week.

Block has hit out over player attitudes in the County League scene and believes he was forced out of the club by a few ‘poisonous people’.

Having joined to be joint boss alongside Simon Butler in the summer after quitting local-rivals Wick, Block and the Mill Road club were looking forward to a successful season.

But, with Mullets bottom of the table last week after three County League Division 1 games, Block was told he did not have the club’s backing to drop a number of players from his side.

And, after meetings with chairman Bob Marchant last week, both parties decided it would be best to go their separate ways.

Block said: “I wasn’t too happy there and really didn’t settle in too well. A few people were giving me grief, a committee member and one player in particular and his dad.

“I wanted to make changes. Obviously, there were defensive frailties and I sat down with Bob last week.

“I told him there was one player I needed out, as they were stirring things up with other players and creating a bad atmosphere, having been dropped.

“He said that the players would go mental if I did that. No one really spoke to me down there apart from Bob. They want a nice quiet life, not wanting to upset anyone and just keep going as they are. But a lot of people judged me before they got to know me and never gave me a chance.”

Butler, who has been unavailable for the start of the season, was back in sole charge for the side’s 3-1 defeat at Banstead in the FA Cup preliminary round on Saturday.

Block agreed the chairman has done what he felt was best for the club and said there is no bad blood between the two – although admitted he is devastated he was not given a chance.

He said: “I am a bit gutted as I wanted the chance to turn things around and get some more players in. But they didn’t want to change and would rather pick friends and that is not the way to run a club.”

The experienced County League boss has now decided to call time on his managerial career with no plans of getting involved in the future.

The ex-Pagham and Selsey manager added: “I am pretty fed-up dealing with county players who think they are Premiership players, it’s not all of them, but I just can’t be bothered with it anymore.

“I was not getting paid at Arundel. I know some managers do at clubs, but it is nothing I have ever expected.

“Then to get stick at a game from a player’s dad and committee member, saying I am ruining the club after just five games here, well, it’s just scandalous.

“I am fed up with all the back-biting from players, and some of the stuff you hear on the sidelines.

“I know I am no angel, but I just think to myself ‘why am I here and doing this’.

“It’s my hobby. If I was off fishing, I would be relaxing and enjoying myself, I am meant to be enjoying myself doing this – not being insulted and talked about behind my back.”

Marchant was left with regrets over the whole situation and admitted he is not happy with what has gone on.

He said: “It’s a shame some people couldn’t accept Gary for who he is and judged him after so many games, or probably prejudged him.

“People weren’t even prepared to contemplate the next step and that doesn’t sit well with me. I have said I could have set it up and handled it better when Gary came in, and I have learned from it.”