White quits as Rebels boss

Chris White
Chris White

CHRIS White has dramatically quit as Worthing Football Club manager.

White, who took over at the club in 2010, tendered his resignation on Tuesday evening over ongoing issues behind the scenes, combined with personal circumstances.

Having taken over from Simon Colbran at Woodside Road, White had led Rebels to a 14th-placed finish in Ryman Division 1 South in his first season, before just missing out on the play-offs last year - both on a well-documented shoestring budget.

White said the factor of an upcoming operation and his expenses not being covered - in fact managing the club has been costing him money - has left him with no choice, but to walk away.

White said: “I had to do the right thing for my family and put them first for a change, as it has cost me a lot of money doing the job and I can’t afford to do it anymore.

“When I snapped my Achilles in the fans’ tournament last year I was in plaster for 10 months and out of work for 12, which hurt financially.

“I have now been diagnosed with arthritis in my knee and need an operation in the next few months. Last year, my misses had to work seven days a week just to keep us afloat and I am not prepared to put my family under that hardship again.

“I had the same conversion a few times with the club and they said it would all be sorted and it hasn’t, now I have been told categorically there was no question doing it (covering his expenses). That’s fair enough, if there is no money in the club for that then ok, that’s a decision they have to make.

“It’s been hard work . I thought about calling it a day at the end of last season, but spoke to the club and they said with the Brighton friendly and new sponsorship and things, it would improve.

“Those things have happened and nothing has changed - I can’t keep funding things myself, and the operation has brought it all to a head, really.

“I have got to get my head down and work as many Saturday and earn enough money to not put my family through a position like last year. Football has always come first, but now I have to put my family first.

“The self hunger for it has dwindled in the past few months. I have been in football since to age of 16, I am 51 now and I have always given it my all.

“The massive high when we win has always been fantastic, and the despair and low when we lose always stayed with me until training on Tuesday or our next game - the two haven’t been there so much recently, so I need to get my hunger back to.

“I’ve not fallen out with the club and wished them them well, we have parted on good terms.”

White revealed he had resigned on Tuesday evening, but agreed to speak to the club again before formally announcing his decision.

Despite an indifferent start to this season the former Horsham YMCA boss revealed it hasn’t all been bad times, “I have taken a lot of stick and that’s fair enough, football is a game of opinions, there are always a few around, but the lads behind the goal, the proper fans, have been brilliant,” he added.

“There have been some good times, we got the club its first trophy in 10 years (Charity Cup), competed in the league each season and also beaten Bognor for the first time in 19 years, I believe, all on one of the lowest three budgets in the league.”

Club secretary Alistair McKail has insisted that this season’s budget remains the same as last season, with it being White’s choice to spend more on his squad than take his own expenses.

He said: “I know one of the factors in his decision was the matter of expenses, because his financial position has changed over recent seasons.

“From the club’s point of view we have a budget that covers the playing side, including manager’s wages, and Chris generously chose to not take anything in preference to having a stronger squad - the budget is the same as last year and has not been cut since the season started.

“That option still remained for him, but we could not increase the budget to accommodate it, and so we could only promise some ad-hoc contributions to assist.

“I don’t think that’s the whole reason, as ever, it’s always more complicated than that.

“Obviously we are sorry to see Chris go, as he has done a very good job on limited resources, and we respect his decision and wish him all the best for the future.

“We are meeting with the players and coaching team this evening (Thursday) to assure them nothing else is changing as we look to find the best replacement for him.

“We obviously want to keep disruption down to a minimum, and keep the positives from last Saturday’s great result at Merstham, which we all knew had been coming.”