CHARD Town manager Mark Parris has hit out at the players who have left the club since their relegation and admitted “my respect for the people involved has vanished.”

The Robins have suffered a player exodus since their FA-enforced relegation from the Western League into the Somerset County League and sat bottom of the table before Saturday’s vital 4-2 win at home to Worle.

To add insult to injury from a Chard perspective, many of those departed players – including Max Westlake, Nathan Warren and Scott Wells-Burr - have ended up at Bridport, now managed by last season’s Chard boss Jamie Manley.

Steve Friend and Tom Salter are the latest to depart Zembard Lane, meaning 11 of last season's 15-man squad have left the club, and Parris used his programme notes before Saturday’s much-needed win to have his say on developments.

Parris wrote: “[Despite results], both Andy [Bond, assistant] and myself feel we have made some progress.

"Unfortunately, the progress we have made has been countered by the loss of two players this week, Steve Friend and Tom Salter.

“Tom has been approached by Westlands Sports, but I suspect he will then sign immediately for Bridport, where last year’s Chard manager [Jamie Manley] was appointed last week.

“This process will avoid the seven days notice of approach within a 28-day period, required by Bridport, who have also signed Steve Friend.

“Personally, I think this is morally deceptive and my respect for the people involved has vanished.

“What can I say about Steve Friend?

"I will remain polite for the purposes of the programme but he, along with Scott Wells-Burr and all the players who said they would stay at the club despite demotion from the Western League, have not only let me down but more importantly Chard Town Football Club.

“Again, I have lost my respect for these people.

“Unfortunately, the situation reflects that there is no longer player loyalty or honouring of commitment.

“I was always an advocate of being loyal to local players - I now have to question these thoughts.”

There could be further departures to come, with James Boyland the subject of a seven-day approach from Axminster Town.

Jamie Manley has declined to comment.