A parting of the ways

Left to right: Danny Olson, Tom McKie and Rob Marshall.
Left to right: Danny Olson, Tom McKie and Rob Marshall.

ALNWICK Town have parted company with manager Danny Olson and assistant Rob Marshall after less than four months in charge.

The shock decision came on Monday after the pair revealed during a meeting at the weekend that they wanted to bring in a host of players from outside the area to take Town to the next level.

But after weighing up the options, chairman Tom McKie said a move in that direction would drag the Northern League Division Two club into ‘cloud cuckoo land’ and destroy its proud policy of using local lads who play for nothing, so it was decided to part ways with the managerial duo at the beginning of the week.

“Doing it their way meant destroying everything the club had done for the last four years and would have jeopardised everything if we had gone down that route,” said Mr McKie. “We would have required a budget to match other clubs in the division, paying £600 to £1,000 a week, because players from outside the area would eventually want paying.

“For years, Alnwick Town has relied on its juniors coming through. Its players aren’t paid and don’t want paying.

“We do want to progress but it will take time and the committee is thinking long-term. The two of them were on a different level to what the club is at the moment so we decided to keep it in check and go back to square one.”

Mr McKie thanked the pair for their efforts and wished them well for the future. Mr Olson said he and Marshall were ‘very disappointed’ to leave the club as they had ‘loved every minute of it’.

The 45-year-old from Whitley Bay admitted he wanted to bring in new personnel, believing it would help Town’s fortunes next season.

But he added: “I received a phone call on Monday saying there had been a re-think and was told that it isn’t really how Alnwick want to do it and as long as they provide football for the local lads they are quite happy not to be relegated from the Northern League.

“They felt we were too professional and too disciplined and didn’t want to lose the heart and soul of the club.”

But he accused club officials of a ‘complete U-turn’, saying they had been in favour of the managerial team’s ideas at the meeting but changed their mind within 48 hours with ‘no definite explanation’.

Reserve manager Paul Yeadon will become first team boss until the end of the season, at which time the club will ‘take stock’ of the situation, while Alan McFall will take over the second-string.