PAUL Gazzard and John Pyatt have quit as co-managers of Bashley.
Just five days after a boardroom takeover saw Bash saved from certain closure, Gazzard – a stalwart of more than ten years’ service – and former Brockenhurst boss Pyatt relinquished their roles following a season of struggle in the Southern Premier Division.
New chairman Angela Speechley-Price said Bash could announce their replacements within a week but may defer the decision until after the club’s annual general meeting on May 27.
Reflecting on his decision to go, Gazzard said: “Leaving was always a possibility and the state of the club made my decision a little bit easier.
“I knew I had to commit more time to my family, but the other half of it came down to not enjoying my football last season.
“I felt it was only fair to step down as manager and the moment of truth for me was feeling relieved when I put down the phone after resigning.
“The pressure had finally gone and I was glad it was over.”
Out-going Bash chairman Mike Cranidge admitted the New Forest club had been set to fold prior to last week’s last-ditch U-turn which saw the new chair replace him in the hot seat.
Mrs Speechley-Price and Nick Ferguson, who were briefly part of the committee at AFC Totton last summer, took up interim positions on the club’s executive alongside secretary Tim Allan at the 11th hour to prevent Bash from going under.
The duo had formed part of a three-strong party – which included Graham Speechley-Price, Angela’s husband – set to take over the ailing New Forest outfit in March but withdrew their interest after a rival consortium of existing club members came forward.
At the time, Cranidge insisted the option of the trio taking over “would not be revisited”.
But with the Southern League club having failed to assemble a viable team from its membership, the man who reluctantly stepped into the breach last summer approached Mrs Speechley-Price again in an effort to keep alive Bashley’s 67-year history.