Edwards: ‘I had been misled’

CRAIG EDWARDS stepped down as manager of Kingstonian after cuts to the playing budget left him drained of ‘any enthusiasm or energy’.

In a written message to Ks supporters, Edwards said he had planned to leave at the end of last season, but was persuaded to stay by joint-chairman John Fenwick.

However, having his budget cut, and discovering that key players have been made available for sale, convinced him that he needed to tender his resignation.

“To have (the budget) cut ONE month into the season was something I took very personally and at worse felt I had been misled.

“This was compounded by the recent chats regarding Rob Tolfrey, Lewis Taylor, and Claudiu Vilcu, who is arguably the best centre-back in the division. The willingness to release this quality of player brings into question any ambitions the club have.”

Edwards also said that it “did not sit right” that a supporter-led ‘Boost the Budget’ scheme, in which fans made donations to the club to finance the playing squad, had been used to offset the trim in the club’s spending.

The former Billericay Town manager was informed of the budget cut following Kingstonian’s 2-1 Bostik Premier League win over Tonbridge Angels, on September 30.

That victory took Ks into fourth place in the division, but they have since lost three games on the trot, and Edwards is in no doubt that the change in finances had affected morale, saying there was “an air of despondency” in the dressing room.

“Maybe it’s a coincidence but the three games since have seen hugely disappointing results. I have never in 18 years seen such a spell of incredibly poor goals given away. For that I have a responsibility no doubt, however I firmly believe the budget cut has rocked morale.”

His resignation has upset fans of the club, with many asking questions of the club’s directors and calling for changes in the way they communicate with supporters.

The Kingston Road End blog wrote: “The directors are not good at communicating. It has been said many times that this needs to change. In light of this statement, it MUST change NOW, otherwise any goodwill towards those running the club will evaporate – and what is this club without its supporters?”

There are also concerns as to why former joint-chairman Mark Anderson decided to step down from his role – another reason that Edwards cited as a factor in his resignation.

Former Kingstonian boss Kim Harris has been appointed as interim manager whilst the club seek a full-time appointment. Harris will take charge of the team for their visit to Lowestoft Town on Saturday.

In a statement on the club’s official web site, Fenwick said: “It is with the utmost regret that we have received Craig’s resignation and we will place on record our appreciation of the job he did since his appointment.

“We wish Craig all the best in his future endeavours and thank him for his work.”