UNDER-FIRE Whitchurch Alport manager Matt Burton's trouble-hit reign at the club is over as he and the Reds parted company on Sunday night.

Burton last took control of the side at Irlam where Alport found themselves four goals behind in the first 19 minutes.

The speed in which the coronavirus escalated meant all football was suspended two days later, before the league was controversially cancelled by the FA, and many thought this might have earned Burton a reprieve.

But club officials released a statement on Sunday announcing his departure.

It said: "Whitchurch Alport Football Club, following recent discussions, have decided to part company mutually with first team manager Matt Burton.

"The decision was one not taken lightly by the club’s committee especially given the premature end to the last campaign and uncertainty as to when football may resume.

"However, with the club now using the time to re-structure, including appointing a new chairman, it was decided to review the first team’s management.

"Following a difficult few months with just two wins in eighteen games, the club felt a change in manager would be the best option to try and push the us forward both on and off the field.

"Matt has faced a difficult period in charge with lots of change and despite his excellent managerial record prior to his appointment at Yockings Park, the results haven’t worked out in accordance with what our supporters demand and what the club expects.

"As a club we would like to acknowledge Matt`s efforts and dedication since joining. He’s a likeable character and we wish him every success in the future."

In the meantime, Steve May, Lea Edge and Kevin Street will oversee any football matters until Alport have a new boss in place.

Interim chairman, Luke Goddard, was the man tasked with giving Burton the bad news on Sunday morning and he admitted it was a difficult conversation.

He said: “It’s not been easy for Matt and although performances since the turn of the year have shown some signs of improvement, there had been a degree of unrest among our supporters for a time now and many were clamouring for a change.

"I wanted dearly for him to succeed but despite having a terrific pool of players available, he hasn’t been able to prevent us from sliding down the table and we felt we had no option but to make this change at this time.”

Goddard announced Tony Rogers as his new co-chairman in the days before Burton’s dismissal.

Before the table was scrapped Alport had fallen into the bottom half of the table for the first time in the campaign and Rogers pulled no punches.

He added: “It simply wasn’t good enough or acceptable that a club like ours with the players we had at our disposal could get no higher than 11th in the table.

"We had been consistently losing places and had the season started 19 games ago then our form would have seen us bottom of the league and that is a statement of fact.

"The attendance figures had been dwindling and the last home crowd was something like half that of our first one against Hanley. Those figures speak for themselves and Matt Burton failed to win a single home game in his time as manager.

"We weren’t an attractive side to watch and some of the performances infuriated our fans – and I should know as I’m one of them. I don’t think we had any other option than to make the change now.”

Burton tweeted: “I would like to thank Whitchurch Alport for the opportunity to become their manager.

"They have a fantastic group of players and some of the best people involved at any club I have experienced at this level. Sadly, the results didn’t go the way I wanted them to.

"With the uncertainty of when the league will start again, the club feel that they need to use this time to find the right solution to start the season and that won’t include me. All the best and keep pushing the boundaries."