NORTHWICH Vics owner Mike Connett and manager Steve Burr are involved in an extraordinary showdown.
Mr Burr insists he is no longer employed by the club after the pair apparently failed to reach agreement on a number of issues and he departed on Saturday – but Mr Connett is saying: ‘Oh yes, you are’.
The two men seem to be taking up their positions for a legal battle. Mr Burr issued a statement saying: ‘As far as I am concerned, my contract has been terminated by Northwich Victoria FC, so therefore I am no longer employed by the club.’
He had met Mr Connett to discuss plans for next season, but talks broke down. Mr Burr issued a deadline of 9am on Saturday for negotiations to be completed, after which he issued his statement.
But yesterday Mr Connett said: ‘Steve Burr is still employed by the club. When we are ready to make a statement we will let you know. I’m not interested in whatever Steve Burr wants to say in the Press but he has not had his contract rescinded.’
Mr Burr claims the meeting with Mr Connett should have happened weeks before the end of the season and described the delay as a ‘disgrace’.
He is believed to be considering taking actionagainst Mr Connett for ‘constructive dismissal’.
His statement went on: ‘I would like to thank football secretary Derek Nuttall, general manager Dave Thomas, my assistant manager Dave Moss and the rest of the backroom staff – especially the players and our magnificent
supporters. I have had three great years on the football side and am proud of our achievements.’
Burr led Vics to the Conference North championship last year, the club’s first title in 48 years. But it is understood he and Mr Connett were not on speaking terms towards the end of Mr Burr’s reign.
Dave Moss had already resigned, saying: ‘My contract was coming to an end.’
Mr Connett issued the following statement yesterday: ‘I can confirm Steve Burr is contracted as manager of Northwich Victoria FC (2004) Ltd and is still employed by the above club.’
The hardest part about moving on is learning not to look back!!
the news came as no surprise to most fans of vics and witton - its been on the cards for a while and is the start of the end of vics in its current form....one of the following will prob happen;
mc willing to let vics drop league or two to reduce costs by reducing wage bills - slow painfull decline
mc willing to let vics drop league or several to reduce costs by manufacturing a scenario where they get booted out - quick painfull decline
mc drop vics in the **** and supporters trust pick up left overs and start again in lower leagues v quick painfull decline
mc sell to supp trust and thry rent
either vs or other stadium - vics drop league or two tcan not sustain wage bills for conference football - slow painfull decline
vics best hope if he csan sell to Buyer with money Not in it just for Money - a very unlikely scenario outcome unknown
vics close down - unlikely as vics will rally together to produce something and start again - this has worked for teams like telford etc but im not sure with us representing the town that they wud ever recover and it cud go nowhere
i feel a bit sorry for them its good to have rivalry in the town and a shame if they go out of existence even to our gain - maybe see them thrown out of conf down to unibond prem during the summer would be a nice outcome!
If its all true in the NLP article that I read yesterday then it does paint MR C in a bad light. I'm sure he's going to come up with something which I'm sure will be along the lines of him owning the stadium and the surrounds and renting to anyone who will pay. Seems to have already done this with Man Utd. I think this will probably happen with VICS too and it may come down to the supporters taking over running the club with Mr C cutting down his investment every week. To be fair to him he can't keep sticking his hand in his pocket if the subsidy amounts rumoured to be Thousands each week are true.It might even be cheaper for Northwich Victoria 2007 to rent off us than Mr C!! Now that would be a strange scenario but possible. I think Northwich Victoria 2004 looks doomed unless something drastic happens. I do feel sorry for all the genuine Vics football fans and its so much better having them as local rivals to create a bit of interest and good humoured banter!! So I hope Vics continues to be but preferably in a lower league maybe in ours as we'd both benefit from the gate money such as it would be!!
"Steve Burr says that "constant interference" from chairman Mike Connett forced him to call time on his three year spell at Northwich Victoria.
Burr says than Connett told him he had to "get rid" of striker Mark Sale and midfielder Danny Mayman during the 2006-07 season and "criticised every player in some way" during his time at the club.
Burr went on: " We won at Cambridge on the opening day, but then lost at home to Morecambe.
He came in the dressing room after and told everyone they were a disgrace to the club, because he'd had people there watching the match.
He wanted a say in which players were picked."
Much of the conflict centered around Ben Connett.
"When Ben dropped the ball for Morecambe to score against us toward the end of the season, Connett wanted to know why Kieran Charnock wasn't standing on the goalline.
After that second defeat by Morecambe, I dropped Ben and brought in Phil Senior and we went on a terrific run that secured our Conference status. We beat Kidderminster, Tamworth, Oxford, Dagenham and Crawley, but for two weeks he didn't speak to me or Dave Moss.
As far as I was concerned, Phil had a clean sheet bonus in his contract. I always do it so that both my keepers get the bonus, whoever plays.
Phil did fantastically well for us in that run, but Connett then decided to take every clean sheet bonus for the season off him, because it wasn't actually written in his contract apparently.
Ben still got his.
At the end of March he told myself, Dave and Dave Thomas that he was fed up of the abuse he was getting from the supporters and the club was up for sale.
He told us to go out and tell people because if the club wasn't sold within the month, then he would liquidate it and all contracts would be null and void.
Two days later I got an abusive phone call asking why we'd told people the club was up for sale because it wasn't- and the meeting we'd had was confidential!"
Burr says he had to fight to get a cheque to replace illegal tyres on his club car, that his petrol card was confiscated and the team couldn't use Moss Farm as the bills hadn't been paid.
It was last Saturday that Burr - who is owed money by Northwich and saw his players' wage cheques bounce earlier this month - decided enough was enough.
"He had a list of players and was telling me who he wanted to stay and who he wanted out of the club. That's what I am paid to do.
I told him I was prepared to manage the team, providing he told supporters he was making the decisions on players because there was no way I was going to have my reputation tarnished by him making decisions on player selection.
He wanted two of the four contracted lads to be transfer listed and wasn't going to renew the contract of my assistant. I also know that he spoke to another manager in January about having my job.
He avoided me after that. When he still hadn't got back to me by 9am last Saturday, it was clear that I wasn't able to do my job."
Burr has become one of the most highly rated non-league managers since taking over at Vics in 2004.
In the past week Burr has recieved offers from four clubs and speculation has mounted that he will be unveiled as the new boss of Stalybridge after their new chaiman Rob Gorski said on the Celtic website:"Events have moved on this week with the news that the best manager in Non-League football is now available.
I'm very optimistic we will be able to announce a manager next Wednesday who will truly excite the fans."
Burr added:"I hope Northwich get sorted. The ones who always lose out are the supporters. I can't thank them enough and hopefully I've given them a lot of decent memories."
When contacted by the NLP, Connett said:"We've not seen Steve Burr. he is still an employee of the company and his contract is still there. Lawyers have been instructed."