UPDATED: Brace hits out after leaving Rebels

Lee Brace
Lee Brace

LEE Brace has left Worthing Football Club citing that he can no longer work with certain members of the board of directors.

Rebels released a statement yesterday evening stating that joint manager Brace had resigned from his post, but then attempted to withdraw his resignation, only for club to reject it.

Rebels chairman Lee Noakes has also since confirmed fellow joint manager Kieran Collins has been released from his position.

This episode is the latest in a string of events which have rocked the club in the past month.

Rebels were “severely censured and warned as to their future conduct” at a Ryman League hearing last week and the club were fined £10,000, with £5,000 suspended for two years, following the incident on the flight from Guernsey to Gatwick on October 26, after Rebels had lost 4-1.

Following complaints by airline, Aurigny, representatives from the club pleaded guilty to “bringing the competition into disrepute” and were told they would be “recommended for expulsion” should the offence be repeated, when they appeared before the Ryman League’s Appeals Sub-Committee in Dartford.

Two directors, three players and a coach are also to be charged with “bringing the competition into disrepute”.

Brace, who gave up his seat of the flight to Guernsey and travelled by ferry, feels the handling of the incident by the club has been poor, and relationships have complete broken down over the past few months.

The former boss is deeply unhappy at the way he has been treated and said: “There are three people at the football club, who, in my opinion, should not be there, and all the time they are there, I do not want to be there.

“I feel sorry for the club at the moment, as, in my opinion, it is in a very sorry state off the field.

“Do not get me wrong, I did resign yesterday morning, I gave my resignation to Alistair McKail as I do not have the respect for other people and have no contact with them.

“After that, I was advised to speak to a senior director who hasn’t been around the club for a few years. He advised me not to stand down so I told Alistair that I wanted to stay and I haven’t heard back from anyone else.

“I had received a warning letter yesterday from three people on the board - and bearing in mind I am volunteer and do not get paid it is ridiculous. I have been treated like a school boy with no respect by certain people.

“I want to be at the football club but as long as those three people are there, I can’t concentrate on what I want to do, which is help Worthing Football Club grow. I have had a lot of messages and good wishes from lots of people which tells you something.

“I’ll never say I’ll never go back there and leaving is not what I want, but I can’t work how I want to while those people are there.”

The club statement said: “Lee Brace this morning formally resigned as manager of Worthing Football Club, which the board accepted.

“Mr Brace subsequently attempted to withdraw his resignation, but, after careful consideration, this was rejected by the board on a majority decision.

“The board hope to meet with Lee Brace in the next 24 hours but as things stand he will not be in charge for the visit of Hastings this Saturday.”

When asked about the meeting, Brace said he was unaware of one as he had not be contacted by those who issued the statement and added that Collins had not be contacted either.

He added: “I have not been contacted by any of those people in the club. Morty (Hollis) Alistair and Deborah McKail were not aware the statement had been made yesterday; the decision was made by three directors who have the majority vote.”

Mick Fogden and Jon Meeney will be in charge of the club’s home Ryman South Division match with Hastings tomorrow and chairman Noakes will be meeting with the board next week ahead of any decisions on new management.

He said: “All the communications have gone to Lee as the club only ever appointed him as manager, Kieran came into the roll at a later stage, all before I was at the club.

“All the directors - apart from Morty as he isn’t online - were involved in sending the letter to Lee. People may say things were done underhand, but they were not. Things were done as a collective decision and in the right way, which is the way they will done as long as I am at the club.

“Jon and Mick will take the team on Saturday and we’ll then look to see what should happen for the rest of the season from there.”