I quit Southam United post as a matter of principle, says Knibbs

Outgoing Southam boss Lee Knibbs.Outgoing Southam boss Lee Knibbs.
Outgoing Southam boss Lee Knibbs.
Outgoing Southam United manager Lee Knibbs says the reason for his shock departure will remain between him and the club.

However, he has moved to scotch rumours that a link-up with Marcus Law was behind his resignation.

Knibbs quit Banbury Road in the wake of Saturday’s 3-2 win over Coventry Copsewood, with chairman Charles Hill admitting “the timing of his decision came as a surprise”.

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But despite conjecture on social media sites as to the motives behind his decision, Knibbs say he is keen to draw a line under the affair and does not want to enter into tit for tat squabbling.

“I resigned as a matter of principle,” said Knibbs. “The reasons will stay private between me and the club.

“I would like to thank Southam for the opportunity and I wish them all the best.

“The attitude of the players was spot on and I can’t fault them - they deserve better.

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“It still hurt to see them get beat by Copsewood on Tuesday night.”

Knibbs revealed he is keen to get back involved in the game straight away, but said talk of him and Law joining forces were wide of the mark.

“There’s nothing in that at all,” he said. “We just met up for a coffee and to watch a couple of players we used to coach.”

Having taken over Southam in August 2012 with the team struggling at the bottom of the Midland Combination Premier, Knibbs led them to a seventh-placed finish and four cup semi-finals.

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Despite further success in the cup this term, Saints failed to mount a serious title challenge and lie 16 points behind leaders Brocton.

His position was not thought to be under threat, though, with skipper Jamie Coleman describing Knibbs as “one of the few managers I have played under who is honest, hasn’t been stabbed in the back or bad-mouthed by any of the players”.

He added: “It was a pleasure to play for him.”

In the wake of Knibbs’ resignation, Coleman has left the club along with Joss Holford and Luke Wilson.

Hill said he could not rule out any further departures but did shed more light on the reasons for Knibbs’ exit.

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“We thought with Lee we had part of a good and sustainable future,” said Hill.

“We’re sorry to see him go.

“There has been an issue regarding payment of expenses, but these are my liabilities, not the club’s.”

Assistant manager Simon Walker and reserve team boss Ian Ray will again be in charge when Saints travel to Pilkington XXX tomorrow.