BANGOR City captain, Gary Roberts, will be leaving the club after being released from his contract, the club have announced.
In a shocking turn of events, the news was announced in a damning statement released prior to the Citizens’ 3-0 Europa League second leg loss to Lyngby BK.
It seems that Southport FC, who were relegated from the National League last season, have been influencing Roberts’ move away from the club, with the statement claiming that they have been in contact with the player for “the last few weeks”.
His “unprofessional behaviour” was also cited as being one of the reasons for the parting of the club and the player.
The statement on the club website read:
“Following numerous incidents of unprofessional behaviour by the player, it was agreed that in the best interests of both parties that a parting of the ways was the only way forward.
“The new Southport FC management team has pursued the player for the last few weeks. Therefore, it was inevitable that this caused a disruption to the player’s attitude towards the club.”
However, reading the rest of the statement, it’s clear to see that it may not be ALL about that move to Southport …
“Over the last few months, club officials and management have supported the player when many a club would have dismissed him for gross misconduct.
“We as Bangor City FC will not tolerate any misconduct by anyone involved with the club. It is against what the club stands for, shows a complete lack of respect and commitment to the management, board, his teammates and most importantly, the great fans of this club.
“No-one is bigger than Bangor City FC. It is a great club with a rich history and tradition, and when a player states in the week leading up to a massive European game that he no longer wants to play for the club, we were left with no alternative other than to release him from his contract.
“We wish him well for the future, and hope that one day he realises what a massive opportunity he has given up.
“We urge our supporters to keep the faith as we are trying to do the right things for this great club.”
I spoke to a few of the fans at the match last night and they seemed surprised by the news, with many conceding that losing their captain just before one of the biggest nights they’ve had in a long time contributed to the 3-0 loss.
Roberts has had his troubles in the past. Having played for the likes of Rotherham, Port Vale and Mansfield, his career began to falter after he became addicted to both gambling and drinking. However, he had recently seemed to kick those habits and be turning his career around.
Obviously, I think the move to Southport will benefit him both as a player in progressing his career and financially in terms of wages so I don’t really blame him for making the move. I am a little disappointed about the way he has gone about doing it though.
There’s no doubting that Roberts will be a huge loss to City’s defence and indeed their squad as a whole. He had established himself as a fans favourite at the club and always seemed to give his all when playing.
As a regular visitor to Nantporth I’ll be sad to see him go as he is a real no-nonsense defender, but as said in the statement above “no one is bigger than Bangor City FC”.