CARL Garner has voluntarily relinquished himself of his managerial duties at Clitheroe Football Club.
The decision was made after the Blues’ fourth consecutive defeat on Saturday, a 1-0 loss to Radcliffe Borough.
Following discussions with chairman Anne Barker, it was agreed former manager Chris Stammers would adopt the role of head coach alongside Mark Litherland in a bid to steer the club to safety.
“I’ve stepped aside,” said Garner. “It was something I put in to place at the weekend.
“I invited Chris to the game at Radcliffe to have a look at the players and see what he thought. – and yet again we lost by a solitary goal.
“I had a discussion with him after and, with nine games left, I felt it was the right decision because all I want more than anything is for the club to avoid relegation.
“It’s getting a little bit tight down there now.”
Garner has devoted his time and effort at Shawbridge for seven years during spells as chairman and manager.
The club has seen its fortunes altered for the better under his guidance, while two Manager of the Month awards will provide fitting ornaments in reflection of his time in the hotseat.
But the voyage has never been an ego trip for Garner and his decisions have always been in the best interests of the club.
“The club means that much to me I was prepared to step aside,” he said.
“Chris is confident of getting the points we need to survive. I had to put the club first which is what I’ve done for the past seven years.
“It’s down to the players now. They’ve got to find it from within themselves to break this cycle and push through.
“Hopefully it will make a difference for them to have a fresh voice to listen to and new ideas to work with. Hopefully Chris can bring out that bit that’s been missing from them.”
Just four points separate the Blues from the First Division North drop zone, though Cammell Laird have two games in hand.
Garner is just hopeful he’s found the right man to see the job through.
But it’s not an easy task with nine games remaining, especially with the departures of Ash Parillon who has moved to Chorley, Owen Roberts who has gone to Warrington Town and Duncan Watmore who has been loaned out to Curzon Ashton after being recalled by Altrincham.
“Chris is a good coach,” said Garner. “He’s worked for myself and the club before. The attraction was his coaching skills and his innovation.
“He’s got plenty of ideas and what stood out was his confidence.
“He feels he can rattle up enough points to steer Clitheroe to safety. “There’s no guarantees and there’s no easy games but he’s confident he can do it.”
While training, preparation and team selection will be left in the hands of Stammers, Garner will remain at the club in some capacity and lend any help he can.
He will continue to oversee the budget and wages, and help with transfers, as well as scouting.
Garner said: “I’m all over the place at the moment. The club want me to stay and I’m not looking to leave, but I’ve got one or two things going on in my personal life that’s got my focus. I’ll give Chris support he needs from a distance.
“But I’ve had plenty of calls, messages and emails wishing me well.”
After a 1-0 loss at home to promotion-chasing Witton, Stammers now takes his side to Salford on Saturday (3 p.m.).