Worksop Town claim that contracted forward Conor Sellars failed to turn up for Wednesday’s game at Tadcaster, without giving the club an explanation.
The West Yorkshire based player was upset by comments made in the wake of Saturday’s loss to Handsworth by boss Mark Shaw, who was critical of Sellars for not showing up to training and highlighting him as the club’s highest paid player.
Contracted players are paid to both play and attend training, but Sellars has routinely missed Worksop’s midweek sessions since pre-season.
Sellars made a statement on social media on Saturday evening, defending his position with regards to training, saying: “Due to work commitments I cannot attend training – if I could train everyday I would, I love football and being a part of it.
“I really enjoy playing for Worksop, the atmosphere and how the club is run is great, I would never ever refuse to train, its unfortunate this season with a change of jobs I can’t make it.”
The former Harrogate Town man also had a conversation with club chairman Kevin Keep and requested a private meeting, but Keep said he won’t get involved in playing matters unless Shaw asks him to.
The chairman told the Guardian: “Conor was very upset with Mark’s comments, he could take the comments about not training but he feels the public doesn’t need to know he’s the highest paid player, he feels it makes out that he demanded that amount.
“He wanted a private meeting with me but I won’t go behind the manager’s back, we decided amongst the Decision Making Committee that all playing issues were the manager’s responsibility.
“Conor felt like he can’t offer Worksop anything while his head is like this, and I’ve told him he should sort it with his manager.
“But he didn’t say he wouldn’t be showing up last night.”
Shaw said that Sellars wasn’t to blame for either Saturday or Wednesday’s defeat, but his unexplained no-show undermined his proclamation of love for the club.
“I don’t really want to talk about him anymore, “ said the manager.
“For someone who says he loves the club so much, he has a funny way of showing it.
“He didn’t turn up, he didn’t tell us he wasn’t coming, he had the same message as everyone else to say the game was on and he lives the closes to the Tadcaster ground.
“People pay their Team500 money and their £5 entry fee to watch Conor play at his best, score free-kicks and go past players, but I think we’ve all been short changed over the past eight months.”
The manager intimated that Sellars would still have been in his plans for the Vase game.
“Last night was the perfect chance for Conor to show that I’m wrong for digging him out in the press,” he said.
“He could have proved me wrong and proved that he should be playing, but he didn’t, he did the complete opposite and proved me right.
“He’s not the reason we lost the game, but that didn’t go down well in our dressing room.”
Shaw has come under fire in recent weeks from supporters demanding Sellars be given a starting role, leading to the manager’s post-game comments on Saturday criticising Sellars’ fitness due to his repeated absence at training.
The player joined Tigers last season and finished as top scorer with 23 goals.
The Guardian made unsuccessful attempts to contact Sellars before going to print.