Adie Britton stands down as boss in Bath City reshuffle
Adie Britton has stood down as Bath City manager in the wake of Tuesday night's FA Cup defeat at Gosport Borough.
The man who led City to a tenth-place finish in the Blue Square Bet Premier only 18 months ago will become the club's director of football development, with former assistant Lee Howells taking charge of the first team.
Long-serving club captain Jim Rollo is to assist Howells at training sessions while contining a playing career that has seen him pull on the black and white stripes more than 450 times.
Calls for a change in the coaching staff grew louder after a midweek defeat that saw City miss out on £7,500 of FA Cup prize money, together with a very winnable fourth qualifying-round tie at Slough Town.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
They suffered a miserable 2011-12 season, suffering relegation before Easter, and are currently just a point above the Blue Square Bet South drop zone after picking up one point from their last 15.
A club statement, issued this afternoon, read: “The board met last night to discuss the start of the 2012/13 season.
“Despite being top of the league after five matches, recent form has been very disappointing, culminating in our defeat at Gosport in the FA Cup. We do not make knee-jerk decisions and are mindful of two things, the overriding need to stick to the long-term plan we set out this summer, coupled with the need for change to revitalise this season.
“Adrian Britton will become director of football development. In this role, Adrian will report into the board and will have responsibility for the evolving structure of the football operation including the academy and the development squad.
“A lot of his time will be spent building relationships with other league football clubs and continuing to watch many games, our development squad, local teams and also possible player targets from further afield.
“He will also assist in the ongoing work to develop a new stadium for Bath City. The contribution Adrian has made to the club so far is immense, and will continue to be so. It is to his huge credit that he recognised that a change needed to happen for the good of the club and he offered to relinquish the first team day-to-day coaching. The board is delighted he will stay on in another role.”
Britton took the reins just over four years ago after serving as assistant to John Relish and went on to lead City to promotion via the play-offs during his first full season at the helm.
Howells moved from the role of first-team coach to assistant when Relish left his post and is well respected in West Country non-league football thanks to his exploits as a midfielder with Cheltenham Town.
The statement continued: “Lee Howells has a very good playing history at both non-league and League level, a successful managership at Mangotsfield and has shown passion and commitment at City over the last five years.
“Bath City has a successful record of promoting from within and some of the initiatives need to be given some consistent time and attention to maximise returns. Jim Rollo, club captain, will also enhance the coaching staff, whilst continuing with his playing career.”
Six-goal striker Kurtis Guthrie announced his departure from the club via Twitter yesterday and looks unlikely to be the last to leave Mayday Trust Park following City’s FA Cup failure.
“A review of the playing staff will also take place as part of the restructure,” the statement continued. “Bath City is a special place and it deserves the best players we can get.
“We need a true Roman spirit, players performing to the best of their ability, willing to work for the team as a whole, driven to win and only those best demonstrating these characteristics, coupled with footballing ability, will be the ones we retain and acquire as we rebuild to be where we want to be.
“The two seasons in the Conference were the highest level Bath City has ever played, culminating in being named the top part-time team in the country. We want to get back there, but want to do it when we know we can be competitive both through financial sustainability and youth development of our own players.
“We are not throwing money at this, so it will need some time. We need the fans to support during this rebuilding, transitionary period. We have a three-year plan, patience is necessary, but in the interim, we want fans to enjoy the football and we believe the set up announced today is best placed to change the things which need changing, and nurture those which only need time to bear fruit.”