Richard O’Kelly rejects Hereford United manager's role as David Keyte now looks for 'experienced boss' (From Hereford Times)
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Richard O’Kelly rejects Hereford United manager's role as David Keyte now looks for 'experienced boss'
Video reaction from fans and players of United's relegation from the Football League:
HEREFORD United chairman David Keyte said Gary Peters’ experience could be vital as the club search for a new boss.
Fans’ favourite Richard O’Kelly rang Keyte at 4.15pm today to reject the manager’s job offer at Edgar Street.
Keyte said that O’Kelly has had other job offers and had admitted the United’s manager’s role was ‘probably the wrong time for him’.
Keyte said he was now looking for an ‘experienced manager who knew the Conference’.
The news is a blow to United who were relegated from the Football League just six days ago.
“We met for four hours on Wednesday and at the end of the meeting he was undecided,” said Keyte.
“We have now opened up the subject.
“It was always a possibility that Richard did not want to be a manager or did not want to be a manager in the Conference.
“He’s an excellent coach and a good motivator of players and he would be an asset to any other club.
“He thanked us for giving him a chance in management but he said it was probably the wrong time for him. He has been offered other jobs.”
Keyte has been advised to take on a manager with experience of the Conference.
He confirmed that Gary Peters was still at the club.
“Gary Peters has been around as director of football and he took a back seat at my request,” said Keyte.
“He’s still here and his experience could be beneficial in the next few weeks.
“I have had five or six calls in the last fortnight and we are now searching for a new manager.”
Assistant-manager Russell Hoult and first-team coach Richard Sneekes departed United yesterday.
Keyte said that he hoped to keep physiotherapist Ian Rodgerson and there could be a part-time goalkeeper’s role for Dan Connor.
United have sent their ‘retained list’ into the Football League.
“The retained list has gone into the Football League and contains only the players who are under contract for next season,” said Keyte.
“It seemed foolish talking to players without there being a manager in place.
“We lose £400,000 worth of Football League grant so you need somebody who knows the workings of the Conference to have any chance of making that work."
The Conference are introducing, for the first time, a financial model.
“We have to produce a break-even budget for a date in July," said Keyte.
“Failure to do that would leave us with a signing embargo.
“To take £400,000 out of our budget it will be hard. We have done £1.6m income so to lose 25% of income and be asked to balance the books three months later won’t be easy.”