NON-LEAGUE: Sacked manager blasts back at Tigers committee

Sacked Holbeach manager Darren Jarvis (left) and his assistant Tom Roberts. Photo: Tim Wilson.
Sacked Holbeach manager Darren Jarvis (left) and his assistant Tom Roberts. Photo: Tim Wilson.
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Sacked Holbeach United manager Darren Jarvis has blasted ‘The Tigers’ committee for making false accusations following his shock dismissal on Wednesday (December 9) evening.

Holbeach claimed Jarvis had put the club’s financial well-being in jeopardy by exceeding an agreed playing budget. They axed him with the club second in the United Counties Premier Division and having won a place in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

Now Jarvis has issued a lengthy and combative response in which he also claims assistant manager Tom Roberts was touting his services to an unnamed United Counties League Club just two weeks ago.

Jarvis said: “Firstly, I’d like to thank the Holbeach United supporters for their support over the past 10 or so months that I was managing Holbeach United Football Club, and I’m extremely proud that I hopefully gave them something to cheer about.

“I believe I leave the club in a fantastic position, currently second in the league, in the quarter-finals of the League Cup and approximately £10,000 better off due to an FA Cup run that was enjoyed by all. But more about finances later.

“I expect the club to challenge for the league title and hopefully win the League Cup; these were certainly my expectations two days ago, I’m sure their targets won’t have changed. But it’s fair to say that I’m happy with what I achieved in half a season.

“Now, I really didn’t want to – and didn’t intend to – release an in-depth statement or my ‘version of events’ etc - but the recently released Holbeach United club statement has left me with no alternative. I feel that there are mistruths within their statement, and it ‘suggests’ a very different story to the actual one in reality. And it’s for that reason alone I have decided that I need to. I have refrained from venting my frustrations and anger on social media (been there, got the t-shirt, wish I hadn’t!) and I was very happy to oversee a relatively amicable separating of ways, but the feeling clearly wasn’t mutual.

“Onto the main aspects though; after the Deeping victory (first team to win there in the league this season), it is correct that chairman Dave Dougill asked me for a meeting on Thursday evening to discuss one or two issues. Unfortunately I couldn’t make Thursday, as I’d promised two young daughters that we’d be visiting a certain Mr Claus that evening, and after days of anticipation and excitement I didn’t want to let them down.

“I did however offer to meet during the daytime of Thursday, but that offer was not taken up. I also offered to meet with the chairman on Wednesday evening, I was advised that he would need to see if another committee person he wanted to be present could make it but, he would let me know. The next contact I had was a phone call Wednesday evening from the chairman explaining that I was to be ‘let go’ after he’d spoken to two other committee members on the phone. But to say that patience had ran out because I declined a meeting is entirely misleading and untrue.

“Now the overspend that has been mentioned… It might be perceived that the budget must have been hundreds of pounds over budget each week the way it has been described!? Some facts for you; averaged out from the start of the season it is £38 per week over budget. I’m not sure this constitutes that the club’s ‘future financial stability’ would or could be in doubt, or the ‘club’s financial wellbeing’ could be in danger? I guess that is a matter of opinion.

“What I do know is that this season’s squad was costing less than half of last season’s squad at times. But I’m accused of the above. Last season, I was approached by Holbeach United to take over as manager, I didn’t apply for the position. I accepted the challenge. I was asked to complete the season on a budget of approximately a third of what the team had been costing, I did that.

“The club were very grateful. When we discussed and planned this season, it was explained that the budget would probably be £xxxx per week. It was then explained that it would probably be 10% less at £xxx per week. And then finally confirmed that it would be 20% less than the initial planned figure at £xxx per week. But, and I quote “it’s fine if you’re £40 or £50 over budget, but not hundreds of pounds, we can’t have that again.” Er, hello? See my overspend!!

“Not once did the committee formally sit me down to address this extravagant overspend. I had a couple of passing comments, hence I acted in reducing the playing squad numbers and was about to fine tune the squad. Simple. Except I wasn’t given this chance. Had the club said we need to achieve ‘x’ I would have achieved it. But there was never any absolute clear direction or instruction.”

“It’s very convenient for the club to remove me from position, talk about overspending, and then reduce the budget to mask the real issues; those being that the club has not received significant income from sponsors that had been promised. I was continually undermined by people at the club, unfortunately I’m not a yes man who will sit there like a good boy and do exactly what he’s told, I hope they find that man – if they haven’t already.

“I would like to thank my physio Harry Ralph (whom I brought to the club) and my coach Andrew Tidswell for their full support and loyalty. Both have been outstanding. I wish Tom Roberts (my assistant whom I also brought to the club) all the best for the future, be it managing Holbeach United or another club; whilst still being my number two, another UCL club chairman (unfair for me to name the club) has himself told me that Tom contacted a committee member of that club offering his services and that of a former UCL manager only a couple of weeks ago.

“To conclude, I really didn’t want to write all of the above. But felt I had no option to after Holbeach United issued their version of events.”

Assistant manager Tom Roberts and player-coach Andrew Tidswell were due to take charge of the Premier Division clash at Kirby Muxloe today (December 12), but the game has now been postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.