Jim Bentley has resigned as the manager of the EFL’s bottom club Morecambe FC.
The forty-three-year-old was English football’s longest-serving manager in the top four divisions. He became the Shrimps boss in 2011, having previously spent nine years at the club as a player. He managed the club in over four hundred matches and against all the odds he kept Morecambe in the EFL despite operating with one of the smallest budgets in the league.
The news comes after BBC Radio Lancashire tweeted last night that Bentley was set to leave the Globe Arena and become the new manager at AFC Fylde in the National League, who have recently parted company with Dave Challinor.
We understand that AFC Fylde are to appoint Jim Bentley as their new manager.
— BBC Lancashire Sport (@BBCLancsSport) October 27, 2019
In a statement issued this morning on the club’s official website, Morecambe said they had accepted Bentley’s resignation with regret, but after the fantastic service the Liverpudlian had given the club, they decided not to stand in his way as he looks to embark on a fresh challenge.
The Shrimps have won just twice in the league this season, and rumblings of discontent were detected on Twitter after their latest defeat to fellow strugglers Stevenage on Saturday from some fans who felt it was time for a change.
BENTLEY MUST GO NOW!!
— A J Parker (@CRparker88) October 26, 2019
After today’s events, these fans have got their way, but in reaction to the news that Bentley has left the club, most right-thinking Morecambe fans saw it as an extremely sad day for the club and wished him all the best when they took to social media to respond to the announcement.
Here is a selection of responses to the news on Twitter.
Unbelievable servant to the club , fantastic job defying the odds for years – all the best Jim
— Bren Kelly (@brenckelly) October 28, 2019
Has been a credit to Morecambe FC and himself. What he has achieved year after year with the budgets he has had must rank alongside any manager in the premiership achievements. Good luck to him and yourselves.
— Paul Woodham (@thumpermaxie) October 28, 2019
Crawley fan here total respect for the job he has done on a ridiculously poor budget. Hope you guys bring in the right man to take the club forward ⚽️⚽️
— Dan Maguire (@EvilMing77) October 28, 2019
Thanks for the memories Jim. All the best at Fylde. #ThanksJim
— Gaz Parker (@GazPar81) October 28, 2019
How sad – a great manager for a great club ?? best of luck Jim! ❤️
— Ben Mancebo-Thomas (@BenMancebo) October 28, 2019
A sad day for Morecambe FC – #ThanksJim
— Gold Owner (@ockdonalds) October 28, 2019
Desperately sad news, we can only wish Jim and Ken all the best and also hope that his replacement can get us away from the bottom.
— Alan Davis (@AlanDavis1893) October 28, 2019
Fantastic servant to the club and should be commended on keeping the team in the football league. Right time to go for him and the club.
— ???? (@Janx83) October 28, 2019
That man is an absolute credit to the EFL. All the best Jim from an MTFC fan
— Ed Gorton (@edgorton2) October 28, 2019