ANDY Stanhope has been sacked as manager of Spalding United after just over 11 months in the job.
The former Tulips skipper told the Lincolnshire Free Press that he received a phone call from chairman Chris Toynton on Thursday morning, confirming he had been relieved of his duties.
Toynton made his decision at a board meeting on Wednesday evening.
Clearly shocked by the decision, “Stan” admits the move has has come right out of left field.
He said: “I’ve been sacked. Had the call from the chairman this morning, it’s totally out of the blue.
“It’s really disappointing, I really thought we had turned the corner in recent weeks.
“I don’t want to say a bad word about the club, but I have asked for the reasons why. The chairman said we’ve let a lot of good players go and not replaced them, but we had to make a few adjustments to the budget.
“Chris doesn’t believe we can finish in the top six of the UCL either, but I genuinely did.
“I have more views on the matter, but I’ll keep them to myself. What I will say is that there’s been a negative stigma about the club for the past few years and I thought we had started to change. When I took over we barely had a player.
“I’m a football man and want to stay involved in the game, but this has taken me by surprise.”
Spalding find themselves ninth in the UCL Premier Division, having been relegated from the Evo-Stik League First Division South last season.
Toynton went on record at the start of the season to confirm that he wanted to see the club bounce back to step four of the Non-League ladder instantly.
More to follow.