Guy Whittingham says he understands the “tough decision” taken by Crawley Town which signalled his shock departure yesterday along with two members of the backroom staff.
The club announced the ‘mutually agreed’ exit of the First Team coach in a statement on Tuesday which also said club secretary Chris Hough and physiotherapist James Barker had been made redundant.
It is the latest example of cost-cutting measures by the League One club, who will scrap their youth academy at the end of the season and have already made a raft of staff redundancies, including head groundsman Matt Moss.
Manager John Gregory has also indicated that the 13 out of contract players may have to take pay cuts to stay at the Broadfield, though the departing Whittingham insisted he understood the club’s need to tighten its belt.
“I was told the club needs to cut right back ahead of next season and with the secretary and physio also going that seems to be the case,” the former Portsmouth manager said.
“My contract at Crawley was only ever until May 31 so I didn’t hang my hopes on staying, any longer it would have been a bonus.
“Of course I’m disappointed but any manager has to make very tough decisions, I know that from managing Portsmouth and having to make decisions that aren’t always easy but are for the best of the football club.”
And he added: “I was out of work when John Gregory gave me the opportunity to work under him so I’m very grateful for that, and the chance to work with some excellent players and members of staff.”
With Andy Awford set to be named the permanent manager at Portsmouth after guiding them to League 2 safety, there has been talk of Whittingham returning to Fratton Park as part of the management set up. The former striker remains a firm fans’ favourite despite being sacked by the club in November but he said: “I’ve got a couple of irons in the fire but not as far as Portsmouth is concerned. “You never say never, when I left the chief executive said he wouldn’t be surprised to see me back one day but I’ve not have any contact from them and I don’t expect there to be.”
Reds CEO Michael Dunford said: “It is always sad when employees leave the football club and I would like to thank all three for their efforts on behalf of Crawley Town and to wish them all the best for their future careers.”