SOLIHULL’s second biggest football club, Highgate United, have sensationally sacked their successful manager Peter Frain this week.
The News has learned that a disagreement about player expenses caused a rift between manager and board, resulting in the end of Frain’s three-and-a-half year tenure with the club. Frain, whose Gate side lost to Loughborough University in the MFA League Cup 1-0, and suffered a heavy 5-1 defeat to Alvechurch at the weekend, insists his departure was nothing to do with recent results.
“I was sacked for sticking up for the players, for fighting their corner,” a disappointed Frain told the News.
He added that he threatened to walk before the Loughborough game if the expenses situation was not sorted out. When I took over the team over three years ago the club was in free fall - we only had seven players,” said Frain.
“But we finished third in our first full season and won the Coventry Telegraph Cup, then the next season got promoted.
“Last year we finished in a credible mid-table position in the Football Alliance and I was optimistic for this season, despite the poor start.”
Frain added that he was disappointed at being sacked in the club’s carpark, and said the players at the club also “deserve a lot more respect from the powers that be”.
Chairman of the club, Tony Clancy, said he did not want to elaborate on the expenses situation, but told the News that he was “surprised and shocked” at the comments.
“Pete joined us when the club was in a bad way and almost single-handedly dragged us up to where we are today,” added Mr Clancy.
“He exceeded expectations, but had a very poor start to this season. Every member of the board felt that it was time for a change, as things had started to stagnate.”
Frain, who said he was looking to get straight back into management, added: “I feel as though I’m the most successful manager they’ve ever had. But it’s the Chairman’s decision and he has to live with that.”
“The players were fantastic, a very good bunch of lads, many of whom could play at a much higher level.”
* The club are inviting interested parties to apply for the vacancy created by Peter Frain’s departure. Applications should be made in writing and addressed to the Chairman at Highgate United, Tythe Barn Lane, Shirley, Solihull, B90 1PH.