With the new football season only four weeks away, Diss Town’s preparations have been rocked by the departure of recently-appointed manager Paul Bugg.
It was May 25 when The Tangerines announced Bugg had taken over the Brewers Green Lane hotseat from Ross Potter, who opted to jump up a level with Wroxham.
But just 42 days later, Bugg has walked away without taking charge of a match, insisting ‘outside influences’ had rendered his position untenable.
According to Bugg, a number of last season’s players had been encouraged to leave the club, while at the same time he was having to field questions about his future.
“One player would agree to sign, then I would lose two. Two would come in, four would go,” said Bugg, who has revealed plans to retire from management.
“A lot of good players, ones that would have had Diss challenging at the top, had agreed to sign for me.
“But there was a lot of outside influences at play and it became impossible.
“This week, for example, I had been talking to different players, but then receive texts asking if I have been sacked — that was the rumour.
“I could not work like that. I am proud of what I have achieved in management. I have given everything to every club I have managed.
“Diss is a great club and I hope they find someone to take over quickly. It was time for me to go.”
For chairman Richard Upson, the situation is one he has not experienced during his 50-plus years with the club.
He was disappointed to lose Potter’s services, having already laid out plans for the upcoming 2017/18 Thurlow Nunn League First Division campaign with the now departed boss.
Bugg’s arrival seemingly got the club back on track, only for more uncertainty to unexpectedly follow.
Buty with Diss due to be in Emirates FA Cup action on Saturday, August 5, for the their season curtain-raiser, Upson revealed he was hopeful to have a new management team in place as early as last night (see www.dissexpress.co.uk).
“I spoke to Paul at 5pm on Wednesday and there was no indication he was going to leave,” said Upson.
“So, I was surprised to hear had resigned a few hours later.
“We knew a lot of players would leave after Ross moved on. When we appointed Paul, he was made aware of that.
“The situation has disrupted our pre-season significantly. In all my years at the club, I have never known a pre-season like this.
“But, it has happened and the club will still be here come the start of the season.”
The new boss will inherit a threadbare squad at present, with only a handful of players signed on.
Nevertheless, while it is a tall order, Upson is confident that the new men in charge will be able to field a competitive side once the season gets under way.
“We are looking to appoint a three-man management team, all of whom have good contacts,” added Upson.
“That way, the burden is not on just one man to do the job. We need around 10 players, which is a big ask.
“We are talking to players as well. At this time of year, players train with different clubs and that is nothing new.
“Some of them might end up coming back and signing. Whatever happens, I am confident we will have a good squad.”