STEVE Claridge has accused Poole Town manager Tom Killick of "showing disrespect" to Salisbury in the wake of Marvin Brooks' shock move to the Wiltshire club.

Brooks traded the National South Dolphins for Southern South & West Salisbury earlier this month, prompting Killick light the blue touch paper by claiming the striker's decision was motivated purely by money.

In an interview with the Daily Echo, Killick said: "Marvin didn’t want to leave. He doesn’t want to play in that league but feels it's something he has to do because of the financial reward. I make no criticism of him for that.

“Salisbury are paying National League money. It's astounding, really, what they do in the league they're in.”

Having kept his powder dry for a couple of days, Claridge came out with all guns blazing.

The Salisbury boss told his club's website: “Everybody seems to offer an opinion about our football club without knowing the true facts.

"We are not paying fortunes, despite this view of us put about by those who have some sort of agenda, or who guess at these things.

“To say Marvin didn’t want to play in our league is probably true, as he wants to progress – as do Salisbury FC. He certainly wanted to play for me and this club. That was clear from our conversations.

“As for his money being ‘astounding’, well, when he told Poole he was leaving, all of a sudden they offered him the same money but he still wanted to go because of certain issues between him and the club."

Killick suggested dropping two divisions would be "horrific" for Brooks, who scored 13 league goals last term.

And the Poole boss also insisted he had expected the 27-year-old to be one of National South's "best strikers" next term.

Again, Claridge – who has lost key striker Justin Bennett to Poole's divisional rivals Oxford City – gave it both barrels in his forthright riposte.

He added: “This is so far off the mark and Tommy is betraying his lack of knowledge of our club and our league, and showing disrespect to both.

“We pushed the boat out for one player last year and that was Justin Bennett. When he decided to go to Oxford City, I knew we had to use his money for another big player... Marvin Brooks, who will be on the same as Justin was last year.

“Marvin wasn’t even seen as a striker by Poole last season. If you read some of the reports when he was used up front on rare occasions, he was described as an ‘emergency striker’.

“I definitely see him as a striker and that’s another reason why he wanted to come.”

“I just think that when a manager can’t keep a player, he should show a little dignity rather than grandstand like this to put the blame on others.

“I’m only speaking out because this idea we are somehow paying fortunes is just plain wrong. Comments like Tommy Killick’s just further the myth and at some point we have to make a stand rather than let this go unchallenged."