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Tony Russell gives his reasons for leaving Ramsgate after only 25 days as manager

Tony Russell has explained his decision to resign as Ramsgate manager after only 25 days in charge.

Russell quit on Friday afternoon just hours before the Rams were due to host Kennington in their first pre-season friendly.

Tony Russell lasted 25 days as Ramsgate manager. Picture: Ramsgate FC YouTube
Tony Russell lasted 25 days as Ramsgate manager. Picture: Ramsgate FC YouTube

It came as a shock to fans who were quickly calling for answers.

Chairman James Lawson released a statement on Sunday, citing a “miscommunication over small elements of agreements made when Tony took the job”.

Lawson, who also apologised to fans, added: “These types of issues are common in any business and are often solved through communication but that was not to be achieved on this occasion.

“It is an unfortunate, unplanned situation but one where we now need to focus on the future and our preparations for the season ahead.

“Football teaches us to expect and deal with the unexpected.”

Russell, who succeeded Ben Smith at Southwood, followed up with his own statement outlining why the situation couldn’t be resolved in his eyes.

He said: “There was no fallout or argument between me and James. In fact, we got on really well.

“It just came down to three agreements that I thought we agreed on, and James thought we had agreed on something else.

“I knew having that sort of conversation so early into a relationship wouldn't end well, because we would be questioning each other's integrity, which will never end well and out of respect, I didn't want to do it.

“And even if you do agree on something, it would damage the long-term relationship.

“So I thought about it, and the only two plays for me were to just go along with it or come away from it.

“The fact I was having to think like this after four weeks was ultimately the reason why I took the latter option.

“I really like James and don't have a problem with him. I never thought for one minute he was trying his luck; I just felt maybe our conversation from four weeks ago may have been diluted a little.”

Smith on Ramsgate exit

Russell rejected comments in Ramsgate’s statement that he “quickly moved the majority of our squad on”.

The former Cray Wanderers and Lewes manager claimed most of the squad had already left.

He said: “I read that I came in and got rid of the team from last year. I came in pretty late into the summer, so most of the team had left.

“I only let go of three players from last year. Jack Paxman (right back): I was told no one from the club had spoken to him since last season, so I reached out and had a chat with him.

“He had a few offers, and Aaron Barnes had signed a week before I had come in, so I felt it was best for him to move on.

“Jack Paxman (midfielder) and Lee Martin are the other two.

“With the club having such a great run in the FA Cup, reinforcements had been brought in, so the wage bill would be returned to what it was at the start of the season. So it was a financial decision.

“I felt we could bring in 3-4 players with that money. As for the rest, you would have to ask the club about that as I don't know.

“I do feel I owe everyone connected to the club an apology for my part in this; it is not ideal, and for that, I am so sorry.”

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