FOOTBALL - Redditch United thank former boss Matt Clarke after drugs charges against him dropped - The Redditch Standard

FOOTBALL - Redditch United thank former boss Matt Clarke after drugs charges against him dropped

Redditch Editorial 22nd Jun, 2024 Updated: 24th Jun, 2024   0

REDDITCH United have released a statement thanking former manager Matt Clarke after drugs charges against him were dropped.

Clarke resigned from his role as Reds boss last month as he prepared to defend himself in court charged with being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis. He was also accused of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

However, following a hearing to dismiss the case at Worcester Crown Court on Friday, June 21, all charges against him were dropped after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) offered no evidence. A charge of criminal damage was dropped last month.

The statement reads: “We are pleased to report that all charges made against our former manager Matt Clarke were officially dropped at Worcester Crown Court.

“Matt has professed his innocence since his initial arrest on February 14. Due to the nature of the charges, and in line with policy, Matt was issued with an interim safeguarding suspension from football.

“Delays in the courts have meant that the prolonged case went well outside of the expected timescales, leading to Matt formally standing down as manager last month as we planned for the new season ahead.

“Matt received a letter from the Crown Prosecution Service on June 14, which stated that his application for dismissal against all charges would not be challenged.

“The letter, which was received exactly four months following his initial arrest, also confirmed that no evidence had been submitted against him throughout the period. Matt is expecting to receive a formal letter of apology in due course.

“During this time the club have acted in line with policy and have made very little comment. Now is the right time to congratulate and thank Matt for his efforts at Redditch United over his nearly four year tenure as manager.

“Matt took over a week before the curtailed 2020 season. His hard work and dedication oversaw the rejuvenation of on-field results which saw us top the table for a period in 2024, and eventually gain a place in the play-offs.

“The ordeal had a clear impact on our season but most notably on Matt’s personal and professional life. We hope that this outcome now draws a line under a very challenging period and we wish Matt all the best with his future.

“We would like to put on record our thanks to Kevin and Sarah at The Birmingham FA who have helped us navigate the past few months and have offered invaluable support.

“In closing, we also need to pay a special tribute to our Red Army of supporters. Through the uncertainty and adversity, you have been with us all the way. Thank you.”

In February, Redditch suddenly announced Clarke would be taking an immediate break from football for ‘personal reasons’.

Clarke was appointed Redditch manager in September 2020 and helped rebuild the club over the last four years.

The Reds sat third in the Southern League Premier Central table before Clarke’s break from football for ‘personal reasons’.


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