Turmoil at Mangotsfield Utd as manager Price quits
MANGOTSFIELD United have been thrown into turmoil following the recent resignation of manager Ollie Price.
A 3-3 home draw v Slimbridge and then a 2-1 away loss at Larkhall Athletic in late January were completely overshadowed by the events of February 1, as the team prepared to face Evesham United at Cossham Street.
Just 90 minutes before the match manager Ollie Price resigned, along with his dug-out team, at the prospect of a further cut to an already-low playing budget.
His resignation statement, issued immediately on Twitter, said his position had “become untenable”.
Ollie said: “I am a man of principle and have set standards that I work to achieve. Throughout my time as MUFC manager, I have faced many challenges, all of which up to now I’ve taken in my stride. However, it’s got to the point where enough is enough and I can no longer keep producing miracles.”
He thanked the chairman and directors for giving him the opportunity to manage the club and expressed his satisfaction at being able to give young players the chance to play Southern League football.
Ollie also thanked the volunteers, supporters and supporters’ club for their “overwhelming support”, adding: “We wouldn’t even have a club without the contributions you make.
“I cannot stress enough how disappointed and gutted I am to have to resign, but I feel I have done the best I can under the circumstances. I’m now going to enjoy some much-needed quality time with my family, whilst considering my options.”
Ollie remained in the dug-out for the Evesham match, along with assistant Neil Simons. As for the game itself, Mangotsfield lost 5-3. The players’ body language in the first half told a million stories and they trailed 0-2 at half-time but really perked up after the break and got back to 3-3, before two late Evesham goals killed them off.
The result barely mattered, given the wider picture, but the fact that the players still played for the club when they could easily have all walked out before 3pm stood them in good stead with the supporters.
In the days that followed, with most of the players having already left, speculation about the future of the club grew all the time, as the club’s financial situation was aired in public. It wasn’t just about who would replace Ollie Price; it was all about could the club continue in the Southern League, voluntarily return to the Western League or was the club in danger of folding. Chairman Mike Richardson announced that youth team boss Glyn Ashton had also become the new first team manager.
For the trip to Basingstoke Town, the few remaining first team players, including keeper Marko Radovanovic, were joined by a number of inexperienced debutants from the club’s youth team and put up a spirited performance, only losing 2-1. Three nights later, at Portsmouth-based Moneyfields, Mangotsfield fielded an even younger starting XI and succumbed to defeat by the only goal in the 50th minute, despite creating a number of decent chances of their own.
Mangotsfield’s overall future remained unclear as the Voice went to print. The immediate task is to fulfil all league fixtures. To the people of Mangotsfield, your presence at any of our next home games would be very much appreciated. Support your local club!
Next home games:
March 7, 3pm: Thatcham Town.
March 21, 3pm: Bristol Manor Farm
March 28, 3pm: Frome Town.