A total collapse of the relationship between chairman and manager was behind Colin Payne's sudden departure from Northwood, according to the manager himself.
Payne's three-year reign came to an end after Saturday's disastrous 1-0 defeat at Witham Town and the club released a statement on Monday saying the manager's exit was mutually agreed.
However, Payne revealed that for the last two months he has been at loggerheads with chairman Ian Barry and club secretary Alan Evans over articles they wrote in the matchday programme, criticising a perceived lack of effort by the players.
After ending last season in superb form Payne himself targetted a top five finish this term but despite some notable displays his side has lost four of the last seven league games and the latest slip up left them down in 11th place, 10 points away from the play-offs.
The statement read: "... results and performances have been somewhat erratic and it was felt at this time that a change at the helm may prove beneficial for all parties.
"Everyone at the club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Colin Payne, whose enthusiasm and hard work has steered the club through a few very difficult years.
"We also extend those thanks to coach Fred Cummings and assistant manager Jason Shaw for their much-appreciated contributions."
Payne though, hit back, saying: "It's called mutual consent but everyone knows what that really means.
"He (Barry) felt that we had to make a change and I agreed we needed a change but unfortunately he wouldn't resign, so I went!
"The position had become untenable because the relationship between myself and the chairman had broken down five or six weeks ago.
"It's been laughable some of the programme notes we've had to read about the players not trying, and unacceptable performances.
"When you lose games you don't expect praise but when you've got six players out you don't need that."
Comments written after two defeats, away to Thamesmead and Maldon last month, were particularly galling for the manager.
"In the programme I read all the people on the coach to Maldon didn't have to pay their £10 because the players didn't try and didn't care," Payne went on. "On the day we just weren't good enough.
"Maldon was a shocking second half performance but it was not because they weren't trying, it was because we didn't have the players.
"The players are very unhappy with the treatment they've received in the programme.
"Some of my players are on minimum wage and for them to be questioned over their commitment is wrong.
"I'd lost respect for the chairman and Alan Evans based on the incorrect reporting in the programme but I do respect them for what they've done for the club because no one works harder than them."
Barry, who has already had up to 30 enquiries for the vacant position, commented: "At the end of the day it is about where we are in the league and also about the performances and that's why he is no longer the manager."
Payne took over from Mick Harvey in September 2005, achieving what seemed like the impossible in his first season by steering the side to Southern Premier survival despite massive budget cuts and although he could not repeat the feat a year later, the Woods did lift the Middlesex Senior Cup for the first time in their history.
Numerous players have come and gone as he struggled to keep hold of them, often due to the financial situation, while the likes of Elliott Buchanan, Luke Garrard and Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz have all gone on to better things. Bradley Hewitt, Sean Sonner and Aryan Tajbakhsh could be next.
With the club on more of an even keel and with an extremelyyoung but talented group at his disposal, Payne hoped to mount a promotion challenge this season but that has faltered after a good start, with injuries to key players like Hewitt, who started just two of the last 10 games, a major factor.
"Someone needs to go in there quickly because I've had managers (from higher league clubs) ringing me all weekend asking about the players," said Payne, who tipped ex-Chelsea and Wimbledon striker Neil Shipperley for the job. "If the right man comes in they will probably stay because we created a fantastic team spirit.
"There's not much wrong with the team, it's just a complete breakdown with me and the chairman and Alan Evans.
"I still think the team we've got now is the best we've had, certainly since Tony Choules was here and if we had won on Saturday we would have been sixth.
"I leave behind a very, very good group of players and whoever comes in is a lucky man."
Reserve team boss Mark Barnham was in charge for last night's (Tuesday) game at Concord Rangers.
Barry added that he hopes to make an appointment in the next two to three weeks. [25a0] Northwood invite applications for the manager's position by email to Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org, sending a copy to Evans at email@example.com.