The chairman was convinced I wasn't the right person for the job, says axed James Collins
The 32-year-old parted company with the Gay Dawn Farm outfit despite sitting in third-place in the Southern Counties East Football League table, having collected fourteen wins and seven defeats from their 21 league games.
The club are six points adrift of unbeaten league leaders Phoenix Sports and Collins has done a remarkable job during the past two seasons.
Collins guided Sutton Athletic to a third-place finish in the Kent Invicta League - as well as winning a cup double last season - and worked without a budget at Corinthian but was controversially sacked following a meeting with chairman Ronald Billings yesterday.
Collins issued the following statement, which is published in its entirety.
“Firstly for those of you who know me understand that I am a reserved person who tries to keep everyone happy, so I have pondered what to say in this statement but my conclusion was, the best way to communicate the sequence of events to just say it how it is.
“I was called into a meeting yesterday and a number of concerns were raised by the chairman.
“It was put to me that while results and performances have been good, he felt that had just papered over the cracks, the major concern was he wasn't convinced that players were improving under my management.
“I am keen to learn and feel that as a manager you take advice from as many people as you can, you take the good bits and throw away the bad.
“In this instance I felt that along with other statements made in the meeting he couldn't prove to me that any of his statements had any evidence to back-up this theory therefore it came down to a matter of opinion.
“The chairman therefore stated that he was convinced I wasn't the right person for the job in which concluded that the club would be parting company with me.
“I will state that I am obviously shocked and disappointed by the outcome of this.
“It was also stated that these concern's had been on the chairman’s mind for a few months which is perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this as in the past six weeks I have turned down two other job offers out of loyalty and respect to the club, the players and the fact the club convinced me to stay.
“People may look at this and wonder why this has happened but I know I leave the club in a good position and feel I can walk away with my head held high.
“I went to the club at the beginning of the season with not a single player from last season’s squad and no budget.
“In with following and complying with the restrictions outlined by the club, I leave the club in third place and in the Quarter-Final of the Kent Senior Trophy, but more importantly with a young group of players that will hopefully go on to represent the club for many years.
“I have spoken to close friends in football and received lots of text messages from players, managers and people in the game all giving me support so I would like to thank them for that, but also each and every player at Corinthian who have been exceptional and a pleasure to manage every week from the day I walked in.
“I would like to finish and most importantly state that football is a game of opinions and it’s what makes it so appealing.
“I would like to state that I have no axe to grind with anyone at Corinthian. I would like to thank them for giving me the opportunity to manage the club which I said was an honour to manage and I stand by that.
“Me and the chairman shook hands and it was concluded very amicably we wished each other luck and I’m sure we will cross paths again.”
The club have not published a club statement on their website.
Visit Corinthian website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/corinthianfc