CLUB legend Paul Gazzard has launched a scathing attack on the new regime at Bashley, claiming he had been replaced as manager prior to being contacted by chairman Angela Speechley-Price.
The long-serving Bash stalwart cited time constraints when he joined fellow joint-boss John Pyatt in standing down two weeks ago, while Mrs Speechley-Price publicly expressed her hope that Gazzard would stay on in a coaching capacity.
Less than 48 hours later, the Daily Echo exclusively revealed that Bash had appointed Graham Speechley-Price – the new chair’s husband – and former Verwood Town assistant Andy Darnton as joint-managers, just after Gazzard had jetted off on a family holiday.
And after returning from his break, Gazzard, who served Bash as a player, coach and assistant manager before he took the hot seat under trying circumstances last season, revealed the reasons behind his exit.
Gazzard told the Daily Echo: “I never wanted to leave on a sour note after 11 years but I felt the new regime showed me no respect whatsoever. I have been told they had chosen their manager three or four weeks before they tried to speak to me.
“They went behind my back and appointed the chairman’s husband before they had clarified my position. I had been considering my future anyway but when I heard what was happening, I thought I would stand down rather than get sacked.
“When I was contacted the next day, she (Mrs Speechley-Price) said she wanted me to stay on in a support role but with what had happened how could I do that?
“I would have been helping to build a side only to be out on my ear. Any trust had immediately gone.
“Somebody said to me that it was a car crash waiting to happen and I wasn’t prepared to be left burning in the wreckage when it all went wrong. I feel let down and it is a horrible way to end my time with a club so close to my heart.”
Meanwhile, club secretary and interim executive member Tim Allan resigned from all positions at Wednesday’s annual general meeting – just 19 days after being co-opted onto the club’s committee.
Allan, who was also building Bashley’s new website, said: “Mike (Cranidge, previous chairman) had asked me to step in but the new people came in with their own ideas.
“It didn’t fit in with other things in my life so I decided to stop before the club or my other commitments suffered. It is a shame I have had to step down.”
Mrs Speechley-Price, who was confirmed as chairman at the AGM, declined to comment on Allan’s departure or the make-up of the club’s permanent committee. It is understood that fellow interim committee member Nick Ferguson was also elected.
Mrs Speechley-Price was unavailable for comment on Gazzard’s claims.