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Coronavirus football suspension leads Mark Morsley to step down as AFC Sudbury manager with immediate effect




The impact of the suspension of football due to the coronvarius outbreak is said to be behind manager-director Mark Morsley taking the surprising action of relinquishing his role as manager of BetVictor Isthmian League North Division side AFC Sudbury.

The club have revealed this evening that the former Needham Market and Leiston boss, who re-joined the Yellows in October 2017, has stepped down after they accepted his resignation in a voluntary redundancy capacity.

It comes on the same day the Isthmian League announced an extension to its initial week-long football suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak until at least April 4.

FOOTBALL: Soham v AFC Sudbury - AFC boss Mark Morsley Picture Mark Westley. (5876827)
FOOTBALL: Soham v AFC Sudbury - AFC boss Mark Morsley Picture Mark Westley. (5876827)

The club statement read: "It is with regret that the board of AFC Sudbury has today agreed the voluntary redundancy of its first-team manager Mark Morsley.

"This comes in light of the completely unprecedented times that the world finds itself in at this moment.

"The great uncertainty over when the world of football will return to normal has been entirely responsible for this decision.

Andrew Long of AFC Sudbury presenting manager Mark Morsley with a monthly awardPicture: Clive Pearson (31248712)
Andrew Long of AFC Sudbury presenting manager Mark Morsley with a monthly awardPicture: Clive Pearson (31248712)

"Mark has been a wonderful servant to our club and instrumental in making the model which AFC Sudbury has created the envy of many.

"The board would like to record our thanks to Mark for his immense contribution and hope that he will stay on in some capacity to help us through the troubled times that all clubs currently face. And of course the good times that we hope will be just around the corner."

Morsley leaves AFC in a mid-table 11th place having played 26 games of the 38 game season.

He had been vocal about the decision to postpone the weekend's matches, writing on Twitter: "A chance for #nonleague to financially benefit and those in dark rooms swipe that away. It’s certainly a scary time but the population are not idiots. Those at risk just decide to not attend. Talk about #nannystate"

In light of Monday's government briefing he explained those comments as relating to "last weekend, based on listening to the experts that position has changed. That extra weeks football would have helped a lot of clubs that haven’t benefited from the ‘golden handshake’ from a professional football career".

Under Morsley's first full season in charge in 2018/19 the club finished eighth having persisted with a high quota of academy players in the team, while they finished 12th in 2017/18 in 12th following his apppointment in October.

Morsley talked in last week's Free Press about considering when to take the next step with the evolution of the club from focusing on developing players to climbing the non-league ladder.

With the club underperformed early in the season, having set out a goal of obtaining a play-off place, he took the drastic action to fire his entire coaching staff last October.

Morsley then brought in academy director Danny Laws and academy coach Dave Cannon with the pair combining their full-time roles with the club's academy with firs-team duties.

* See this week's Suffolk Free Press for all the latest.


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