22nd Jan, 2019

Harris and Swan reveal reasons behind manager's Reds exit

Redditch Editorial 30th Apr, 2018 Updated: 30th Apr, 2018

TIM HARRIS revealed he had felt unable to “get the club in a position to win things” after crunch talks with chairman Chris Swan led to the Redditch United manager’s departure.

A day before the Reds finished their Southern Premier campaign in 14th place after a 2-2 draw at Merthyr Town on Saturday, the club announced the ex-Newport, Forest Green and Gloucester manager would end his four-month tenure in charge at the final whistle in South Wales.

Speculation had been mounting over Harris’ future, particularly after Swan referred to Redditch’s past achievements in his programme notes for the Hereford match on April 2.

“Matches are won by motivation, tactics and desire and this was evident two seasons ago when we came second in the league on 40 per cent less budget than currently,” wrote Swan.

Harris was handed the reins following the sacking of Darren Byfield in December, with the club statement saying “a change in leadership is necessary to fulfil its ambition of challenging for promotion this season”.

Byfield, whose side had slipped into mid-table after a bright start which threatened a play-off challenge, argued Swan’s expectations had been “unrealistic”.

It would appear Harris agrees with his predecessor, with the following to say after his exit.

“I had several meetings with Chris and we had differing visions for the future of the club,” said Harris, who presided over six wins in 22 league matches at the Trico Stadium.

“For me, it is all about being able to win trophies and compete at the top of the league, whatever level that may be.

“In my career I have had a lot of success in various roles. Once you taste that success you become hungry for more.

“There is no point in falling out with the chairman, nor would I want to, it is his club and he can do as he sees fit. Whatever anyone thinks of him, he is a very astute businessman who I have learned a lot from.

“I would have a beer with him tomorrow. I cannot stress that enough and do not want to leave under a cloud. The bottom line is I did not feel like I could get the club in a position to win things and be at the top end of the league. It was as simple as that.

“When you look at the top five or six sides, the revenue they have coming in and the wage bills involved, it is no coincidence they are where they are.

“You either increase your revenue, get external investment or you tick over. Chris is entitled to do whatever he wants. It hasn’t worked out but I still genuinely wish the club every success.

“When I was approached in December, I liked the structure that was in place with the youth academy and community projects and I felt it was a great challenge for me.

“At this present time, though, I do not feel I am the right person to help the club develop and progress. I would like to thank the chairman, who has always been open and honest with me, as well as the players and supporters for their commitment and support.”

A Reds statement said: “Following amicable conversations between chairman Chris Swan and Tim, both parties have agreed to part ways. Backroom staff Alex Sykes and Lee Randall will also leave the club.”

Swan said: “Tim and I have held several meetings over recent weeks and, while these were perfectly harmonious, it became clear we had differing views on how the football club can develop and progress. Both parties believe the right course of action is to part ways.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I would like place on record my thanks to Tim and his staff for their professionalism and tireless efforts in the four months they have been in charge.”

The club will not be making any further comment until the recruitment process of Harris’ replacement is completed.

Report compiled with the help of Andy Mitchell.

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