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AFC Fylde have approach for Barrow boss rejected – manager angry at league for postponement

Barrow have rejected an approach from AFC Fylde to talk to their manager Ian Evatt about replacing Dave Challinor.

AFC Fylde confirmed that they have parted company with their manager on the same day they had their game against Sutton postponed due to the fatal incident in Milton Keynes, which stopped the trains from running.

37 year old Evatt is a former Blackpool and Chesterfield defender who took over at Holker Street back in June 2018 and guided them to 10th place in the National League last season.

He was also caretaker manager at Chesterfield for the final three games of their time in the EFL.

The Barrow owners said in a statement: “Barrow AFC can confirm that over the weekend we received an approach from AFC Fylde for our manager Ian Evatt. The offer was rejected by the club and after speaking with Ian he is 100% committed to Barrow.

“Ian is extremely loyal and honest and would like to put on record he had no interest in speaking with Fylde. Ian and his team have worked extremely hard over the last 15 months to get us in this position and in doing so has assembled a great group of players. He has the unequivocal support of the Board and we all believe we can achieve great success this year.

“The numbers coming through the turnstiles has massively encouraged the Club as a whole, so let’s now turn our attention to The FA Cup on Saturday and support our manager and his team.”

Evatt expressed his anger at the National League for the postponement of their much anticipated Non League Day fixture against Dover.

A crowd of over 3,000 was expected for the fixture and it prevented on Barrow attempting to equal a 114-year-old club record by winning an eighth league game in a row.

The Kent side planned to leave from London Euston at 9:30am on the morning of the game, but Barrow as well as football fans suggest they should have left the day before.

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Evatt said: “We at Barrow haven’t got the finances that most of the other National League teams have got, but we still find a way to travel the night before to stop this sort of thing happening.

“I emphasise that there’s been a tragedy and someone has lost their life, but that can happen, unfortunately, in this world we live in, so it’s running the gauntlet by leaving that late.

“It’s affected this football club in a huge way, so the league has to look at it and it has to make provisions that this cannot happen again because it’s not just our game, three games have been called off.

“It all could have been avoided. We are now in a professional league, we’ve got professional players, we pay a lot of money out in this league now and we have to back that up by being professional off the pitch.

“That means if teams have to travel the day before a game, they do it – instead of spending £2 million on your squad, spend a bit of money for a hotel on the Friday night.

“There are implications for my team because we are on a fantastic run, playing some great football and we could have broke a 100-odd-year-old record today, which is bitterly disappointing when it all should have been avoided.”


After finding out on both the approach from AFC Fylde of Barrow’s boss Ian Evatt and what he had to say on the postponement against Dover, fans took to give their thoughts with many suggested why would he leave his current club for a relegation battle – see those tweets on the next page.


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