BARTLETT PAYS THE PRICE FOR POOR RESULTS
A RETURN of just four points from their opening five matches has brought the curtain down on Gordon Bartlett’s 22-year reign at Wealdstone FC just 16 days into the season.
A statement released by the club on Monday night said Bartlett would take on an unspecified role at the club which would include oversight of youth development and tap into his experience and contacts.
Wealdstone chairman Peter Marsden, said: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Gordon Bartlett for his 22 years at the helm of Wealdstone Football Club, in which he has guided the club from the third division of the Isthmian League to play-off spot contenders in National League South.
“Often working in trying conditions which would have con- founded lesser managers, Gordon has been pivotal in the club reestablishing itself as a force in the non-league game. He is quite simply a Wealdstone legend.”
The statement goes on to make clear results this season – including defeats at home to Chelmsford and Havant & Waterlooville in their last two outings, played a part in the decision.
“I am pretty confident that as the season develops, and as some of our players return from injury, under Gordon our form would have picked [up],” added Marsden, who arrived as chairman in July last year. “But such is the level of expectation at Wealdstone that we need to be either in or close to the leading pack from the very start if we are to fulfil our destiny.
“Results drive almost everything that happens at a football club. It drives our income streams and our ability to attract fresh investment.”
In the club statement, Bartlett too admitted results had been a concern.
“This is undoubtedly a very tough decision,” said the veteran manager. “The dynamics of this football club have changed dramatically since Peter’s arrival. We are in an ambitious era with the club and we have simply failed to meet expectations on the field.
“Following last weekend, Peter and I have sat down and agreed it isn’t working, so it’s time for a change and unfortunately the buck stops with me.
“Despite my huge disappointment to step aside after 22 years, I genuinely believe the club will benefit from a new approach and a fresh start is what it craves.
“I have become increasingly frustrated and I can honestly say I have not been managing with a smile on my face recently.
“In the past we have overcome very difficult times and remained upbeat and, with the help of many others, always managed to steer the ship to calmer waters.
“I am a positive person and last season’s so-called ‘crisis’ proved a point when, despite the doom and gloom merchants, we finished the season with one defeat in our last 20 games.
“This pre-season had been encouraging and the majority of performances have seen us better than the opposition, but it’s a results business and they haven’t been good enough.
“Sometimes you need to be a lucky manager and that certainly cannot be said for the numerous things that have occurred this season, so when you add everything up the time is right.”
It is unclear who will be in charge of the team for Saturday’s trip to Eastbourne Borough and the home game against Hemel Hempstead Town on bank holiday Monday (both 3pm kick-offs).