“We don’t have a knee-jerk reaction!” Boston United chairman David Newton says he considered Jason Lee’s future for up to a fortnight

David Newton.
David Newton.

Boston United chairman David Newton has admitted he thought about sacking boss Jason Lee as long as two weeks ago.

The club owner axed his manager on Thursday morning, following the side’s midweek defeat in Gloucester, the Pilgrims’ sixth consecutive game without a victory.

But at the time, fellow board members Neil Kempster and Chris Cook opted to give the former Nottingham Forest striker time to turn the side’s ailing fortunes around.

“We don’t have a knee-jerk reaction, everything is considered,” said Newton, who states all key club decisions must be unanimously agreed upon by the three board members.

“I would have maybe done it a week or two earlier, but that wasn’t the feeling of the board.”

The main reason given for Lee’s dismissal is that Newton feels the side had failed to progress under his tenure.

Lee took over a side second in the Blue Square Bet North after Rob Scott and Paul Hurst quit to join Grimsby Town.

After guiding the side into the play-offs – where the club were knocked out on penalties in the semis by Guiseley – Lee couldn’t replicate that form the following season.

He and Lee Canoville guided the team to 11th in the BSBN.

Lee, now with Graham Hyde as his assistant, may have been just five points off the play-off spots when he received that fateful call from Newton.

But the club were sat in 11th place and – as Newton sees it – not moving in the right direction.

“Jason’s a really nice guy and a consummate professional, but it’s really more about results and progression and that’s why we made the decision,” Newton continued.

“Jason’s had the best part of two years now really, since he came in.

“At the end of the day, the board didn’t think that we were making the right progression and I agree with that.

“There comes a point where you have to make the decision and it was important that we left sufficient time for anybody new coming in to try and get the best out of this season.”

However, another worry for Newton was the dip in attendances.

With the Pilgrims playing eight out of 10 matches at home, especially just before Christmas, fans had to pick and choose their matches wisely.

But The 2-2 draw with Solihull Moors still saw United play in front of their lowest home attendance (681) in a league match since 1999.

And with Newton feeling that interest was waning, he felt he had to act before the club reported losses for yet another year.

He told The Standard: “Jason agreed from the outset that the play-offs was the aim, and that’s still the aim.

“It was about not really moving forward.

“We can’t not look at the gate as well.

“I imagine when Jason came in we were at 1,400. I think we’re at around half that now.

“It will have a lot to do with so many home games at once.

“But we have to address the gate or it will continue until the end of the season.

“I’m happy with the decision although it’s not nice to do.”

Newton added that Lee took the news ‘like a gentleman’ and he hopes the two remain on good terms.