First team manager Neal Ardley is leaving the club by mutual agreement, with immediate effect. His assistant manager, Neil Cox, is leaving the Club at the same time. First team coach Simon Bassey is taking over as interim manager while the search for a permanent successor to Neal gets underway.
Neal was appointed in October 2012 and in his first season as a manager oversaw a dramatic and successful fight against relegation out of the Football League. Over the following years he transformed the Club from a playing and training point of view and also behind the scenes, where his personal drive led to a major improvement in the training facilities both in terms of improved training pitches and the working conditions for the Club staff.
As a club, Wimbledon has always punched above its weight and Neal made sure we continued to do so for the following seasons culminating in winning a play-off final in 2015/16 where he led the team out at Wembley to fulfil a long term ambition.
In the two seasons since that promotion Neal established us as a League 1 club despite the continued constraints on investment. Throughout his time with us he lived our values of openness and honesty.
We thank him for the massive role he has played for us over the last six years and wish him well in his future career.
Chief Executive Erik Samuelson said “Neal has been a credit to the club in everything he has done. He is a clear thinker, a superb man-manager and a fine coach. I’ve enjoyed working with him and am absolutely certain that he will achieve even greater success in his next roles. So, he leaves with my personal thanks and gratitude for what he has done in his time here at AFC Wimbledon.
“I also want to register the club’s and my personal thanks to Neil Cox who has provided massive support to Neal throughout his time here and has been a great ambassador for the club. We wish him well in his future career.”
We will update fans with any significant developments as they arise.