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Seb Hayes claims he walked before being sacked by Wisbech Town

Wisbech Town

Seb Hayes reckons he walked away from BetVictor Northern Premier League Wisbech Town after learning of plans to sack him.

Hayes, pictured, called time on his six month reign at the weekend after his side fell to the foot of the NPL’s South East Division table following Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at home to Chasetown at the Elgoods Fenland Stadium.

The 43-year-old took charge at Step 4 for the first time in June as the successor to Gary Setchell following trophy-winning spells in the United Counties League Premier Division with Huntingdon Town, Peterborough Northern Star and Holbeach United.

He slammed club officials in a post-match interview with the Wisbech Standard, claiming they’d held a behind-closed-doors meeting with his squad seven days earlier before Town’s 2-0 defeat at Loughborough Dynamo.

Claiming foul play, Hayes told wisbechstandard.co.uk : “I know from Chinese whispers in the last week the club were planning to sack me. I had a noose around my neck and was basically a dead man walking.

“Club officials had a meeting with the players at Loughborough Dynamo last week and told them I had four games to save my job.

“I then turned up to the game today and my assistant manager knew the club wanted to sack me. I even had my captain pull me to one side and say ‘I’ve been told you’re getting the sack if we don’t win today.

“How can I possibly go into the dressing room with any conviction and have any effect on them in a situation like that?

“I’ve had no phone call from the club and no-one spoke to me before the game, but my own pride and self-respect won’t allow me to work in a situation like this.

“I’ve spoken to people in and around the game for their opinion on my position and every single one of them said it was untenable.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at Wisbech – even though the circumstances have been testing – and the fans have backed me brilliantly.”

He added: “I would have had no issue with the club moving me on if they had come directly to me and told me. Football is about results and I haven’t delivered them.

“If they have another manager lined up, that’s fine but just be straight about it. I think I deserve to be shown more respect as I have always acted with dignity and class. Everyone knows where they stand with me but I haven’t got that in return.”

The Fenman have released a statement thanking Hayes for his work and naming assistant boss and former player Kevin Ward as interim manager.

Ward, who was part of the Fenmen managerial set-up when they gained promotion from the United Counties League in 2017/18, will take charge for the first time on Saturday at title-chasing Leek Town.

The statement read: “Following Seb Hayes’ decision to step down from his position as manager of Wisbech Town FC, the club would like to place on record their gratitude for the hard work he has put in since taking the job in June of this year.

“Chairman Paul Brenchley said: ‘Unfortunately things haven’t worked out for Seb as he and I had hoped. It’s perhaps a case of ‘wrong place, wrong time’ for him as a manager. But we thank him for his efforts and wish him well for the future’.

“Kevin Ward has been given the job of interim manager whilst the club considers the next step. Ward is a former Wisbech player and has also turned out King’s Lynn, Halifax Town, Harrogate Town and Gainsborough Trinity amongst many others.

“He has previously been on the coaching staff at Spalding United and Corby Town.”

Image courtesy of wisbechtownfc.co.uk

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