Stockport Sports FC accepted the resignation of their manager (and Aston Villa legend) Peter Withe on Monday. The move comes as a total surprise and without any explanation given whatsoever. The move came a few hours after assistant manager Joey Dunn announced on twitter that he would no longer be with the club:
All the very best to Peter and the lads at Stockport Sports for the rest of the season, been great working with you all. Time to move on— joey dunn (@joeydunn99) November 19, 2012
At 1713 GMT, Peter Withe posted this to his twitter account (tweet not embedded because he used TwitLonger):
Peter Withe has not been able to continue in his role at Stockport Sports FC and has resigned today. Peter relished the opportunity given to him at Stockport, but unfortunately his aspirations and ambitions for the future of the Club could not be fully realised.
Following legal advice, no further comment will be made.
-- Peter Withe (@Peter_Withe) November 19, 2012
Making this whole thing even sketchier is the fact that the club refuses to comment, replying to one twitter user's inquiry by saying: "Peter resigned today and no further comment will be made." Technically, the team are not publicly owned and are therefore not obliged to give any reasoning whatsoever. Nevertheless, they have made no bones about the fact that they welcome monetary support from fans, and it seems reasonable to expect that they would give those same fans an explanation. (Full disclosure: I am one of those fans who has given to the club, so I am not totally unbiased here.)
The move comes after the Saxons lost yet another league match on Saturday, falling 2-0 to Squires Gate. The defeat puts the club in 10th place in the NWCFL, 12 points below promotion level, and pretty much dead in the water. Given the competition, they can probably maintain their position in the NWCFL Premier division without much trouble, but anything else is just crazy at this point.
I've been fishing around, trying to get some answers for what's happened, and I will absolutely have a follow-up to this. No word yet on who will take Withe's spot, or what will even become of the club. There are rumors on twitter that the team's funding has been pulled, but I can't find anything concrete to back them up. Stick around for more Stockport Sports FC news.