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Canterbury City left with no manager or players after Clive Cook and his squad quit the club

Canterbury City’s entire management and playing staff have left the club - saying the trust has gone.

Boss Clive Cook held a players’ meeting last night where the decision was made to walk away from the Southern Counties East outfit.

Canterbury City manager Clive Cook
Canterbury City manager Clive Cook

Cook, who fears for the future of the club, says the squad hadn’t been paid for four weeks.

And while all monies owed were received shortly before the squad meeting, the trust had already gone.

It followed a separate meeting, called by chairman Tim Clark on Monday, in which players were informed of a budget cut.

Cook also understood main sponsors Quinn Estates were pulling out but has since retracted those claims.

In a statement he said the information quoted was "totally incorrect", adding Quinn Estates "are in fact totally committed to whatever Canterbury City do going forward".

He also apologised to the company for "any wrong information given".

City had also rejected Cook's suggestions in a statement released on Friday afternoon while confirming the departure of the manager, his staff and playing squad.

“I’ve left, all the management team, all the players - everybody has gone,” said Cook, who has worked for free since taking charge.

“This situation has been building for about a month.

“The players hadn’t been paid for four weeks.

“We didn’t play a couple of weekends but the four contracted players should still have been paid.

“I’ve been trying my hardest to keep things going but no one at the club was talking to me, apart from Tony Day the secretary, who’s first-class.

“The rest of them had put their head in the sand.

“They didn’t reply to my messages, calls, texts, nothing came back.

“I feel cheated, I feel empty to be honest with you.

“When I took this job it was a project I liked the look of.

Canterbury City's management and players have left the club Picture: Alan Langley
Canterbury City's management and players have left the club Picture: Alan Langley

“I’d put a good squad together - even last Thursday I signed a couple of players.

“I know we were probably three wins from where we should have been but that’s my responsibility.

“The trust has gone, things were said which didn’t happen, money wasn’t paid and it’s disrespectful of Mr Chairman not picking up the phone for weeks.

“All of a sudden a meeting’s called on Monday night.

“It was all very negative, there’s no ambition there, the chairman even said to me, my assistant and my coach if it means going down, so be it.

“I go into everything 150% and there has to be some ambition.

“Lots of things weren’t sitting well over the last three or four weeks.

“On Monday I knew I was finished because I can’t work like that.

“Let me tell you now, unless a football person comes in and takes over that club and runs it like a football club should be run, then Canterbury City will be no more - it will go to the wall.

Action from Canterbury's home game against Greenwich Borough earlier this season Picture: Alan Langley
Action from Canterbury's home game against Greenwich Borough earlier this season Picture: Alan Langley

“You ask anyone in football, you eat, drink, sleep and breathe it.

“That’s how it’s got to be but it’s not happening there.

“Before that meeting, the chairman hadn’t spoken to me for weeks and weeks.

“I feel sorry for the small bunch of supporters who turn up home and away, I’m sorry I couldn’t give them more on the football side of it but I have no choice but to step down.

“Listen, I don’t mind a battle, a challenge, and I can accept a budget cut, but there is no money at all.

“I was told at the start this is the budget, it won’t change, but it’s not even about the money, it’s the lack of trust and the lack of ambition.

“To me, the two biggest things in life and trust and communication - and neither are there.

“It’s a shame, and I’m gutted, but I walk away with my head held high.”

Canterbury are due at Tunbridge Wells tomorrow.

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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