IT is the end of an era for Witton Albion after they confirmed the departure of long-serving manager Carl Macauley.

Following the club’s relegation from the Northern Premier League Premier Division, it was announced that Macauley and assistant manager Gary Martindale would be leaving their posts when their contracts expire.

The news means an end to their six-and-a-half years tenure at the U Lock It Stadium, after the pair were appointed in October 2015.

Acting chairman Graham Wood, who says he intends to continue in his role for next season, says the board’s intention is to name a new manager in the coming weeks as preparations commence for the new season.

“We have enjoyed a fabulous return to form in the final five games of the season which saw the team achieve 12 points from the available 15 - a run that was the third best in the league,” he said in a club statement.

“In reality, the damage had already been done earlier in the season, with a very poor run that saw us only gaining one point from an available 24.

“The board are obviously disappointed with this outcome for the current season but would like to thank the players and management for their sterling efforts in the last few games.

“However, the board believe time has come for a change.”

In all, Macauley has taken charge of 293 games for Albion, with the last being a 4-0 win over Basford United on Saturday.

That was his 133rd victory at the helm, giving him a win ratio of just over 45 per cent.

“Carl and Gary have done a great job for us during their tenure, and I have enjoyed working with them during my time as acting chairman,” Wood continued.

“I wish them well for the future and would like to thank them for their service to the club.

“No further changes are planned at this stage pending the appointment of a new manager.

“The board have discussed our future plans and are currently working on a playing budget for next season.

“We have commenced our search for a new manager and would hope to make an announcement within the next few weeks.

“Finally, I would like to put on record the board’s appreciation for our fabulous volunteers who, together with our fans, are the life blood of our club.

“Without their support, the club would find it very difficult to operate as effectively as it does.

“There are too many volunteers to mention all of you individually – you know who you are and your efforts are very much appreciated by myself and the board.

“We have a great stadium and with the fans and volunteers behind the new manager, I am sure we will soon be enjoying quality football again at the U-LockIT Stadium.”