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John Pemberton slams Kidderminster Harriers for fake news on his exit

Chesterfield John Pemberton Kidderminster Harriers

John Pemberton has accused Kidderminster Harriers of turning his departure into fake news designed to blame him for the National League North club’s poor form and distract fans from the lack of resources he’s be given.

The former Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Leeds United defender launched a blistering attack within hours of reading the club’s statement citing his side’s poor performance in all competitions as the reason for his departure.

Pemberton, pictured, resigned on Wednesday with Harriers languishing in 17th spot after they were knocked out of the FA Trophy by Curzon Ashton last weekend.

Stafford Rangers had already ended their hopes of an FA Cup run but a defiant Pemberton accused the club of refusing to take any responsibility in their statement for the lack of resources he’d be given since taking charge in May.

He told kidderminstershuttle.co.uk: “I was given a blind horse and asked to win the Grand National, all I’ve been told is lies.

“The statement made it clear they have taken no responsibility. I found the position untenable. I cannot carry on in the circumstances. For six months it’s been a firefight.

“I have had no backing at the club. All they have done is move the goalposts. I was promised the earth but they cut budgets.”

He added: “I had nine players for pre-season, I signed Ashley Hemmings (in October) and thought that would start a turnaround but I was told I couldn’t bring in any players.

“I found it difficult to read, I thought that is not right. I walked away and was happy to keep my mouth shut but they are pushing it under my door.

“I wish they had been honest from day one so I knew what I was walking into.”

Kidderminster have declined to make a further comment to local media after releasing their original statement announcing Pemberton’s departure on Wednesday morning.

It read: “Discussions were held with John earlier this week in light of the team’s current league position and early exit from the FA Cup and FA Trophy.

“At the end of these discussions John offered his resignation which was accepted by the club.

“We would like to thank John for his effort while in post and wish him well for the future.

“The club feels it is still well placed to achieve this season and as such the owners will take their time in appointing the team’s next manager — an appointment which will be crucial.

“In the interim assistant manager Russ Penn will take charge of the team for at least the next three or four matches with our full support.

“It is clear that Russ is extremely popular with both players, staff and supporters and we are confident they will respond accordingly during a busy period of fixtures.

“We’d urge all Harriers fans to give Russ their full support, starting with this weekend’s game with Southport at Aggborough.”

Assistant manager Russ Penn is calling for unity after being named as caretaker. He will take charge for the first time on Saturday when Southport visit Aggborough.

As a defender, Pemberton, 55, made over 300 appearances as a player for the likes of Crewe, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Leeds United.

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