WORTHING United Football Club will be looking for a new manager for the fourth year in a row after Tobi Hutchinson quit the club last week.
The Eastbourne-based manager led the club to safety after a relegation-threatened campaign in United’s first season back in Division 1, but has decided to leave after just one season.
Hutchinson had taken over as joint manager at the start of the season, with Dave Shearing, before taking sole charge when the latter left midway through the campaign – and he led United to a seventh from bottom finish, six points and four places clear of the drop.
He hinted last week that he would leave the club over a disagreement that had arisen about running a reserve team next season. Hutchinson wanted one, but the club blocked it owing to financial reasons and, speaking last week, Hutchinson said: “I just don’t see how it’s possible to run without them (reserves) as a club if you want to go forward and I don’t want a season struggling again like this one.
“I want to progress as well and, when you’re not getting paid, you want it to be enjoyable and, at times, it hasn’t this year.”
Both parties stuck to their guns and Hutchinson resigned last Wednesday leaving the club again searching for a new manager. It’s another blow for United, who have changed managers for the past four seasons in a row.
Hutchinson and Shearing replaced Dominic Di Paola at the end of the 2010-11 season, after he spent just a year at the club, leading them to promotion from Division 2 before leaving for East Preston.
The previous season Jason Rutherford and Fred Proto had quit the club after being relegated on ground grading issues. They had also been there just a year after replacing John Suter, who took over midway through the 2008-09 season.
United chairman Glenn Houchen said: “I’d like to thank Tobi and all of the players for all their efforts in keeping the club in Division 1 this season, they’ve done an excellent job and got our highest finish over the last 20 years.
“Due to circumstances out of my control he, however, felt he couldn’t continue. He wanted a reserve team, as did I. I think Tobi was justified in wanting one, but the committee disagreed and didn’t think we could afford it.
“He didn’t want to leave but wanted to progress. It’s a shame as I said to Dave (Shearing, former joint manager) at the start of the year, all I wanted was to stay in the league, I said fourth from bottom and I’d have been very happy and we have achieved that.
“There were times this year we’ve been without a goalkeeper and needed a few more for the bench, and you can call on people when you have a reserve side and that is why myself and Mark (Sanderson) totally agreed with Tobi.”