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Waterford FC owner Richard Forrest has released a statement after the club relieved Marc Bircham of his duties as head coach this morning.
The sacking of the ex-Canadian footballer comes three days before the team’s biggest game of the season – a promotion/relegation play-off against SSE Airtricity League First Division side UCD.
Bircham had joined the side in May, becoming the fifth manager to do so in a 12-month period and the team finished 27 points above Longford Town under his tutelage after being bottom upon his arrival.
However, draws to Longford and St Patrick’s Athletic in their final two games meant they could not avoid a play-off, which now sees their Premier Division status hang in the balance after being promoted for the 2018 season.
Bircham had revealed on Tuesday morning that he had been suspended by Forrest for a week after a conversation via text the previous night but, less than an hour after he made the information public, he was sacked.
In his statement about today’s events, Forrest said: “Since I arrived in Waterford my full and total commitment has been to unite the club and build a Waterford FC we can all be proud of.
“I am extremely disappointed to have had to make this tough decision we did today especially given the huge match we have facing us on Friday.
“I feel we were backed into a corner, given an ultimatum, which as an owner left me no choice but to act now in the long term best interests of the club.
“I would have only made this decision when left with no other option and I take no personal satisfaction from it.
“Therefore, it would not be right for me to comment any further on the above as we now need to put all our energy into Friday’s game and have the squad fully focused.
“The club would like to thank Marc for the great job he has done for us and wish him all the best for the future.
“Finally, I would encourage everyone to all get behind the team as you have done throughout this season as we, THE BLUES, fight for our right to be in the League of Ireland Premier.”
Waterford will play UCD on Friday, November 26 at Richmond Park with kick-off scheduled for 7:45 pm.