Shaw says he’s been dismissed by Worksop Town and vows to take legal action

NWGU NMAC Worksop v Mansfield. Worksop manager Mark Shaw
NWGU NMAC Worksop v Mansfield. Worksop manager Mark Shaw

Mark Shaw plans to take legal action against Worksop Town after claiming he has been dismissed by the club.

The 38-year-old was suspended late in November pending an internal investigation.

And he says the club informed him of his dismissal at 5.30pm last Friday, following a disciplinary procedure he has dubbed ‘unfair.’

Shaw, appointed by owner Jason Clark in April 2013, will appeal the club’s decision and believes it will end up in court.

He departs Tigers having led them to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier play-offs in his first season, before the club took a voluntary two-division drop to the Northern Counties East League Premier.

Shaw’s Worksop finished in second, four points behind league winners Shaw Lane in the 2014/15 season and fourth last season.

His suspension and eventual dismissal was nothing to do with matters on the pitch, he claims, but because he set up Tigers Enterprises, a private limited company from which he ran a Worksop Town academy and community projects.

That company was closed down last year and the club took control of the academy, which collapsed soon after.

“I don’t understand why I’ve been suspended,” said Shaw.

“I don’t think there’s a link between the reasons why I’ve been suspended and my football manager’s contract.”

The club did not make public the reasons for Shaw’s supension and he says he feels aggrieved that his reputation was left at the mercy of the rumour mill.

“They’re saying they’ve dismissed me because I didn’t have authorisation to set up a private limited company,” he said.

“They’re saying I should haven’t paid myself from my private limited company and that I refused to hand over the projects when asked.

“They said I used the Worksop Town name and that I haven’t provided them with evidence they feel they were entitled to.

“Why they couldn’t have put that in the press release is beyond me, I don’t understand.

“It left it very wide open, a lot of people were speaking about the rumours.

“That’s especially disappointing having gone through everything we’ve gone through at the club.”

Shaw maintains that Tigers Enterprises was set up to run in partnership with the club and although it experienced ‘teething problems’ the club benefitted through a share of profits and players coming through the ranks.

He believes his dismissal is unfair.

“In July I had an email from Jason Clark asking me to pass over control of the academy to the football club.

“He said he appreciated all the work that had been done.

“Four days later the club put out a press release that said Tigers Enterprises had worked in partnership with the football club and not benefitted in any way.

“But going through the process I’ve had to go through over the past three months they’re now trying to say that’s not the case.

“They’ve created an unfair process with this suspension and not answered any of my questions as to how it creaches my contract.

“There’s no wording in my contract that says I can’t set up a limited company.

“I’m going to be appealing and taking the club to court and it will cost the club a lot of money, more than is left on my contract, just to either clear their name or my name.

“I feel like I’ve been unfairly dismissed and unfairly treated.

“The club benefitted financially from Tigers Enterprises because they got a slice of the profits and have had players come through.

“I paid myself through my limited company, it didn’t cost the club any money and they got a cheque for the profits.

“That’s profits they won’t get now.”

Shaw wants to clear his name but says the club’s actions will hinder his progression as a football manager.

“I feel extremely burnt by this,” he said.

“Becoming Worksop Town manager was a very proud moment for me.

“That first season there were ups and downs, it was record breaking and we had such a delightful group of people.

“I feel like I’ve had a delightful group of people throughout.

“But it’s been overshadowed.

“Love me or hate me but I stood up and said I’d help try to save the club.

“I took it upon myself, with the backing of the people left at the club, to try and save it back in 2014.

“I came up with the Team500 club and how we could build the foundations and the branding.

“It’s probably going to hinder my career because of what’s happened at the end of it.

“I don’t know if there’s a club out there that can spark the passion back in me again.

“My football record is probably quite good but I don’t think I’ll get jobs because of my record, I’m not going to get jobs – because of what’s happened.”

And he’s hit out at those running the club, questioning the decision making at Sandy Lane and citing the recent closure of the ground over ‘unsafe’ changing rooms as an example.

“The people running the club are making a big mess of it,” he said.

“Who signs a lease without realising the potential cost implications, where the ground is damaged and needs repair, and then puts it on the supporters?

“What is the football club going to do? There’s rumours of a new chairman, I don’t think fans will get behind a membership scheme because they don’t know what’s going to happen with the money.

“I’ve been afraid of a lack of money so I kept the wage bill lower than it should have been this year.

“And funnily enough the wage bill got cut.”

And regardless of his appeal which he plans to lodge this week, Shaw is certain the situation will end up before the courts.

“I don’t see the club compromising, they believe I’ve done something wrong.

“I believe it will go to court.

“I’ve been honest with everything that’s happened and I don’t feel it’s the way we should have parted.”

Worksop Town FC has been contacted for a comment.