Cambridge City have announced that manager Gary Roberts has resigned from his role as first team manager.
Roberts, a former City player took over from David Batch in January 2003 and has enjoyed 13 years as manager of the Lilywhites.
Announcing his decision, which was mutually agreed following discussions with the board of directors, Roberts said “I feel that the time has come to review the role of first team manager.
The main reasons are that this summer has been particularly difficult for me. First, on a personal level as my wife has been very ill and secondly the club has been working under financial constraints which has meant that player recruitment has been harder than usual.
Although the budgetary constraints have now been resolved I still felt the time was right to approach the Chairman and the board to inform them that there should be a new approach so that we can begin the season with a fresh start”.
Looking back on his time as manager he said “The last 13 years have been fantastic for me and it has been a great journey. There have been plenty of individual highlights from qualifying for Conference South, to the fantastic FA Cup adventures we have had, the league cup success, and seeing many players move on to bigger and better things.
It hasn’t been easy given what has happened off the field but I still do love Cambridge City. With that in mind I have offered my services to assist in an alternative role within the club and I am pleased that the board will consider my offer”.
Roberts also paid tribute to the fans. He said “I would like to thank them for their incredible support during what has been a thoroughly enjoyable 13 years as manager. However, they must now get behind the club and the new manager. I believe there are exciting times for the club with the move to the new stadium on the horizon and that is something we should all be focussing on”.
City Chairman Kevin Satchell said “The board met with Gary on Wednesday after he indicated he wished to discuss his position. I accept that that it has been a difficult summer for him both on a personal level and in terms of player recruitment. Despite the financial issues relating to the budget now being resolved,
Gary felt that the time was also right to review his role as first team manager and it was mutually decided that he should step down but also look to retain his services in another role as he still wants to be involved in some capacity with Cambridge City”.
Satchell added “I would like to place on record the fantastic demonstration of loyalty and commitment that Gary has displayed during his time as manager. He has delivered a number of memorable moments, and has consistently provided on the field stability which has not been easy given the off the field troubles that have formed a backdrop to the club in the last ten years”.
Satchell also made a plea to City fans for unity as the Lilywhites prepare for a new season. He said “We are going through a big transitional period at the moment both in terms of playing and management personnel.
I want to re-assure fans that the board is fully committed to recruiting the right person for the job, and secondly ensuring that the new manager has the finances available so that a squad can be re-built which will both be able to compete and sustain its current level of football ahead of a move to the new stadium at Sawston”.
The club will now advertise for a replacement and although mindful that pre-season training has just started are not planning to make an announcement on a new manager in the immediate future.