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No shortage of successors after Chippenham Town sack Mark Collier

Bluebirds, Chippenham, Chippenham Town, Collier, Mark Collier, National League, National League South, NLP, Non-League

Chippenham Town chairman Neil Blackmore has been contacted by at least five candidates for his National League South club’s vacant hot-seat since sacking Mark Collier on Thursday night.

The Bluebirds chairman told thisiswiltshire.co.uk and BBC Wiltshire on Friday there was no shortage of potential successors after Collier left Hardenhuish Park on Thursday night, just over six years after taking charge.

Collier established the club in National League South after turning Town’s Southern League Premier Division fortunes around, winning Non-League’s third tier with a massive haul of 103 points in 2016-17. He departed with his side in 18th spot, just a point outside the relegation zone.

Insisting the decision has to be made, Blackmore said: “Our football club is a business. It has to be run like a business. And any business has to constantly evolve and develop, for a football club that is both on and off the pitch.

“Developments on the pitch start with a change of management. And we’ve already said off the pitch we’re going to spend close to £200,000 on ground improvements to make fans’ visit to the ground that more enjoyable.

“But what is more important to the fans is that they are entertained. And if you speak to any fan, they will tell you they like to see their team playing good football, scoring goals and winning games.

“It was a difficult decision. Mark Collier is a really good guy and has done a lot of great work for the club, even his partner worked at the club as a volunteer.”

Without a game this weekend, the Bluebirds have named Gary Hogan as interim manager.

Blackmore thanked Collier for his work in a Bluebirds statement confirming his departure.

“In making this decision, I and my Board recognise and are extremely grateful for what Mark has achieved since his time as manager at Chippenham Town FC and we wish him well for the future,” said Blackmore.

“We now need to move forward to appoint a new manager as soon as possible. In the interim head coach, Gary Horgan, will take charge of the team.”

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