MAJOR upheavals for Maldon Town and Tiptree United have reformed part of the north Essex football landscape.
In a stunning move, Tiptree chairman Ed Garty has taken over at Maldon from former Town chairman Mick Kirkham with the two clubs coming under a broad umbrella of control.
The move has also seen Stuart Nethercott removed as manager of Maldon and Jam-makers boss Colin Wallington installed in his place and both teams will play their home games at the Park Drive stadium in Maldon.
Changes were implemented late on Thursday, however, existing arrangements for the weekend’s games involving the two clubs will mainly stay in place.
Wallington will take immediate charge of Maldon for their Ryman League division one north game at VCD Athletic, while Tiptree assistant Brad King will lead the way for them in their FA Vase second qualifying round tie against Barkingside, which will still take place at Chapel Road.
Wallington said: “It all happened very quickly in the end, but it had been talked about between the clubs for a while.
“Stuart (Nethercott) hasn’t got the job at Maldon anymore because there is a new chairman at Maldon Town Football Club.
“He has been replaced and I have taken over and I will be going with the team that is there now to ADC Athletic tomorrow.
“Mick Kirkham has left Maldon Town and the ground at Chapel Road has been acquired by other people who will take over that ground and both teams will play at Maldon.
“I believe that tomorrow’s game is Tiptree’s last game at Chapel Road and they will now be at Maldon.
“When it comes to playing staff, I’m not guaranteeing anything at all.
“I will look at players and if there are players at Tiptree who will make Maldon better, then I will look to take them on.
“Brad King will run Tiptree against Barkingside, but that will probably change when we get to grips with it, but Tiptree’s players will all play for Tiptree tomorrow.
“I don’t want people to think I have left Tiptree because I haven’t.
“I’m still as much a part of Tiptree as I was before, but I will be in charge of Maldon and people may see a growing together as time goes on.”
Ex-Maldon boss Nethercott added: “We’ve been taken over.
“The new chairman has come in and he’s got his own ideas on how things should be done and I didn’t figure in them.
“I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to have another go at it.
“The rumour is that they are going to throw money at the team.
“I just wish that I was going to be a part of that.
“It always hurts when somehting like this happens.
“We worked hard to keep the club up last season on limited resources, and that’s the real kick in the teeth.
“But the new chairman has come in and says he doesn’t know me and he knows the other guy.
“That’s his decision, but I’ll be stronger for it.
“I’m not going to be bitter about it.
“I wouldn’t want to have been looking over my shoulder wondering if I was going to get sacked after my first defeat, so it’s for the best.”