Jason Ainsley has left his role as Spennymoor Town manager after more than 14 years at the helm.
Ainsley departs after winning 11 trophies and four promotions with the now-National League North club. The Moors are currently at the highest level in the club's history.
Ainsley was the longest-serving manager in the top seven divisions of English football. Chief executive Brad Groves said:
“Jason and I have been in agreement for a long time that there would be a clear moment where this change was needed; it has always been in the long-term plan for the club.
“With the scale of our ambition and the multi-million-pound investment I have made in the club, there is now increased pressure on performance across the board. With the additional pressure the Covid-19 pandemic has brought, that moment has arrived quicker than we thought.”
Groves added: “There is no doubt he will go down in history as one of the most influential and loved people ever at this club. He is already a legend within Spennymoor and is a cherished friend of my family, which will always be the case.
“This is not the end of Jason’s story with the club. There will be plenty of opportunities for supporters to see him and his family in person at the match in the future to show their gratitude for what he has done for Spennymoor.
“We are already in discussions for him to use his expertise and keep his passion for football and Spennymoor alive in other ways with us. But, for now, I am pleased he is taking some time for a well-earned rest.”
The club say that Ainsley, who also works as Head of Key Stage Four at Mortimer Community College, will spend time with his family, with plans to resume work within Brad Groves’ group of companies in a sporting role yet to be finalised.
Assistant manager Tommy Miller will take the reins as interim boss.