‘Feelings at play’ - Molynes Utd president opens up on history of tension between chairman and ex-coach
Molynes United president Herman Cruickshank says the relationship between former head coach Lijyasu Simms and club chairman Eurado Cornwall had become irreparable, leading to the former's resignation.
Cruickshank explained that the two have been at loggerheads since their days in the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association Super League but that their strained relationship was basically a clash of egos, and that their working relationship only progressed into the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) because he acted as a middleman between the two.
"From Super League days, 'Shaka' (Simms) and Cornwall haven't had a good relationship in respect to how they communicated with each other," Cruicks hank told STAR Sports. "So I acted as the buffer between the parties. Behind the scenes, I did everything to make it work, but this was personality and feelings at play."
Cruickshank said Cornwall wanted Simms fired following Molynes' 2-1 defeat to Humble Lions on October 27, but he stepped in and cooled tensions. All three men then met and held discussions on going forward afterwards.
However, following another loss to Harbour View on November 27, Cornwall told STAR Sports that he would have fired Simms for the team's poor performances himsel, if the decision did not need a board consensus. Cruickshank said Cornwall went behind the backs of club executives to make these statements.
"I didn't denounce it publicly, but it's wrong," Cruickshank said. "When he wanted to fire Simms and I said no, he rightly said the executive did not agree. But he jumped the gun because he wanted to get at Simms personally, so it was not from a football standpoint.
"He made the statement and the follow through is that Simms reacted and said he would not give him the satisfaction of firing him and stepped aside. But it couldn't have been mended, something had to give because of the personalities at play."
Cruickshank says losing a main sponsor, who was solely responsible for Simms' salary, was also a major blow.
"We lost our main sponsor two months ago but we still paid players," he said. "The coach's salary is an agreement with the main sponsor, who stepped aside, so the club had to find a way to pay him."
Despite the manner in which Simms left Molynes, Cruickshank says he is a committed and highly competent conditioner and would do a good job at any club.
"Shaka was one of the most committed people in my team," he said. "He is committed to the cause. You cannot take away his commitment. Molynes as an entity did not treat him well because of how it played out with Cornwall. But he's a firm coach with Premier League experience. He would do a good job anywhere."
Molynes, who spend a significant portion of the first round of the RSPL in second place, won their first six matches of the season but have been winless since and have slipped to seventh in the standings on 20 points after 15 games.