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Coronavirus battle: Mark Morlsey agrees to stand down at AFC Sudbury

Mark Morlsey

Mark Morsley has stepped down as boss of BeVictor Isthmian League AFC Sudbury after agreeing to take voluntary redundancy.

The veteran boss became one of the first high profile managerial casualties of the corona crisis hitting Non-League on Tuesday evening, a few hours after National League Barnet handed redundancy notices to all their non-playing staff including head coach Darren Currie

A statement released tonight said: “It is with regret that the board of AFC Sudbury has today agreed the voluntary redundancy of it’s first team manager Mark Morsley.

“This comes in light of the completely unprecedented times that the world finds itself in at this moment. The great uncertainty over when the world of football will return to normal has been entirely responsible for this decision.

“Mark has been a wonderful servant to our club and instrumental in making the model which AFC Sudbury has created the envy of many.

“The board would like to record our thanks to Mark for his immense contribution and hope that he will stay on in some capacity to help us through the troubled times that all clubs currently face. And of course the good times that we hope will be just around the corner.”

Former Brantham Athletic, Harwich, Leiston and Needham Market boss Morsley returned to manage the Yellows for second time in 2017 after first guiding the Isthmian League North club more than a decade ago.

Before agreeing to step down, he’d warned on Monday that several Non-League clubs will go to the wall due to the complete loss of income created by the coronavirus and the shut down of football.

He told greenun24.co.uk: “Scary times are ahead. I don’t want to be a prophet of doom, but I’ve been around non-league football long enough to know how things are run, and I can see some clubs going bust in the next month or so.

“No one is talking about this yet, but I will bring it up because most football clubs, with the exception of a select few at the top, live by means of hand to mouth.

“They work on strict budgets, with regards gate receipts, programmes, burgers, beers and alike, all on a match-to-match basis. That it the reality for semi-professional clubs, and most of those even at the top of the professional game.

“Clubs now have no income, while they still have the potential liability of paying players. I can certainly see a situation where some clubs start going to the wall, there is a big danger of that happening.”

He added: “There will need to be some hard decisions made by football clubs down the line.”

Make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper on a Sunday for the latest news from across Non-League over the last seven days and the growing impact of the coronavirus on the game and society.

Images courtesy of @AFCSudbury/Twitter


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