Friday 17th October 2003

Coupland leaves Chatham
Manager Peter Coupland has left Dr Martens League Eastern Division club Chatham Town by mutual consent following the club's poor start to the season.

His assistant Phil Miles was offered the job but has chosen to leave the club as well. Reserve team manager Steve Binks, uncle of first-team player Tom, has been appointed caretaker-manager.

The decision came on Tuesday night after Chatham lost 1-0 to Eastern Division leaders Tonbridge Angels, their seventh defeat of the season.

In a statement Peter Enright, the club's press officer, said: "Chatham Town Football Club announce that first team manager Peter Coupland has left the club by mutual consent. The club has the opinion the team's performance has left a
lot to be desired and has dropped into the relegation zone."

Coupland said he had been surprised by the turn of events and was disappointed to be leaving the club. He stressed: "The club suffered a 25 per cent reduction in the budget for players after losing the main sponsor, so it wasn't easy
bringing in what we believed were the right players.

"Under the chairman's five-year plan, we were just looking to stay up this season having done well to consolidate last season. I thought I would have been given more time."

Coupland hopes to stay in management and has already received a couple of offers. Meanwhile Chatham are seeking applications for the manager's position.