Newport County: Graham Westley defends conduct as secretary resigns

Graham Westley
Graham Westley has managed Stevenage, Preston North End and Peterborough United

Newport County manager Graham Westley has defended his conduct after a row that saw club secretary Graham Bean leave after just three weeks.

Bean told BBC Wales he left Newport as he "cannot work" with Westley.

"Any business that goes on between me and the football club is business between me and them," Westley said.

Bean says he quit the club because of the rift with Westley, who was appointed in October, but the manager says Bean was dismissed.

Bean, who was the first compliance officer at the Football Association and ran day-to-day operations at Leeds United until 2014, said his working relationship with Westley was "untenable".

"I have left the club," Bean said. "Graham Westley is an impossible man to work with.

"I've been in the game for 20 years and I very rarely fall out with anyone but he needs to learn some manners and start treating people with some respect.

"There's no way I'd be prepared to work with someone of his character."

The club confirmed Bean's departure but say they are not investigating Westley, despite reports to the contrary.

"The Board wishes to place on record that Graham Westley has the full trust, support and confidence of directors, players and club officials," they said.

"It also wishes to reassure fans that he is not under any investigation.

"He has made a significant impact raising standards throughout the club. The board and players have thoroughly enjoyed his positive impact.

"He has done a terrific job in a short space of time and is challenging the club in all areas to fulfil its potential."

It was reported on Thursday that Westley threatened to quit the club via email and then rescinded the offer. He did not deny those claims when interviewed by BBC Wales Sport.

'A passionate environment'

"If I was to ring the chairman up and have a conversation or he was to ring me up and have a conversation, I'd talk to him and he'd talk to me and we wouldn't be talking to the big wide world," Westley said, when asked directly by the BBC if he had tried to resign.

"Most days in a football club I'll ring my staff or pull a player in and have a conversation. Those conversations are not for the big wide world. We talk all the time.

"Football is a passionate environment, people have highs and lows. Equally, I am a manager with nearly 900 games under my belt and I've managed some decent clubs and I know what I'm doing."

Westley says Bean left Rodney Parade because he was dismissed, but Bean is insistent he resigned his post.

"First and foremost, my understanding is that Graham Bean was relieved of his duties at the football club and he's moved on," Westley said.

"If there's allegations that he's making then he needs to make them to me. From my point of view we moved on as a club.

"If two people are saying different things, believe who you want."

Rodney Parade
Newport County have won five of their 11 games under Graham Westley

Future unclear

Westley would not confirm a desire to stay at Rodney Parade long-term, even when asked directly if he would could reassure supporters. The Exiles remain bottom of League Two despite improving their form since Westley's arrival.

"I have answered you as fully as anybody would expect me to," he said.

"The questions and the allegations, and so on and so forth, people threw one or two press articles in front of me this morning.

"I'm a person who is professionally contracted to be confidential and professional. I think that people should do their business in the right, and professional, way and that's how I'd like to carry on.

"Alan Pardew, if press reports are to believed, might not be Crystal Palace manager for the long term. Neil Warnock went to Rotherham United last year and did a great job for them but wasn't there for the long term.

"There will be many managers who make their own decision about where they're going to go in the future and many who have decisions made about them.

"Nobody can tell what's going to happen tomorrow. Stuff happens in life and in football.

"Football is a funny business. Situations evolve and emerge all the time."

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