Fans’ dismay at boss’s no-show

Worksop Town manager Duncan Milligan.
Worksop Town manager Duncan Milligan.

Worksop Town fans have voiced their displeasure that the Tigers management team made an unannounced trip to the USA last weekend - rather than taking charge of the club’s match at home to Thackley.

Duncan Milligan and John Buckley left other coaching staff in control of the first team in their absence, with several first team players also understood to have been in the US.

And that left fans confused as to the club’s and the management team’s priorities after they saw their side struggle in a 1-0 defeat.

One supporter said on social media: “The most worrying aspect for me is the failure to let supporters and players know what was happening. It’s a recipe for conflict and chaos in any organisation and it needs to be addressed quickly.

“The club has been on life support for years, if it is going to survive it’s going to need everyone to be fully informed, pulling together and moving forward as one.”

Another added: “I could be wrong but I thought the management duo were still heavily involved in Balby Academy.

“If this assumption is correct the USA trip may not be a one off and there could be a serious conflict of interest next season if we are chasing promotion and the management team are elsewhere.”

Another supporter questioned not only Saturday’s events but also issues from previous months, saying: “The last thing I expected to be told upon entering the clubhouse at 2pm this afternoon was that the management team and several players weren’t here today - they were in fact in America!

“This left us scraping by with 13 players, with Bownes and Carlin seemingly dropped in the deep end alongside the remaining players.

“This, today’s events, and what we’ve witnessed so far since February’s appointment simply isn’t good enough.”

In a statement released on Thursday morning, Worksop Town defended Milligan’s absence.

It read: “Duncan’s absence was due to a school trip taken with employers Balby Academy. The trip was part of the Academies curriculum.

“On appointment, Duncan tried his very best to rearrange flights or go a bit later the following week as to avoid missing the Thackley fixture, he tried to do this up until almost the last minute, hence the lateness in letting the supporters know of the situation.

“Duncan remains in full-time employment with Balby Academy alongside his part-time role with the football club and has made a commitment that work trips like this in the future will not clash with fixtures.

“Duncan and John will be back in the dugout on Saturday for our game against Parkgate. The pair have been in post less than two months and we as a board of directors remain fully behind them in what is aiming to be a period of stability on this front for the club.”

The statement also reiterated the club’s desire to be patient with regard to success on the pitch.

It continued: “The club continues to go through a transition period with new ownership and new management. The issues we have inherited upon taking over the club recently will not and cannot be fixed over night. This period will naturally bring change to personnel on and off the pitch, we are working on building solid foundations going forward without the ‘revolving door’ effect we have witnessed this season.

“Concerning matters on the pitch, no supporter enjoys their team going through losing streaks. We as a club are allowing Duncan and John to build a team as they see fit, we have a lot of talented youngsters available to us and we know they are doing their utmost to get the results we are all after.

“Although admittedly a portion of our focus is on next season and aiming to be as prepared as possible thus avoiding another mediocre season, we do not enjoy losing games and have made that point abundantly clear.

“We have not cut the player budget, which remains plentiful and healthy, but recent player departures have freed this figure up. The manager and club have decided not to stretch it too far at this point with the season drawing to a close.”