Ryman League: Alan Pook has won a shedload of cups and medals in his time as a non-League manager.

Worthing's self-appointed first team boss will discover in the weeks to come, though, there is more to life at Woodside Road than simply putting out a decent eleven.

The Ryman League club, which should be one of the powerhouses of the non-League scene in Sussex, has become synonymous with off-field wranglings.

It came to a head on Monday with the sacking of first team boss Barry Lloyd, with Pook, who recently took over as director of football, assuming full command of the side.

Trouble, though, has been brewing behind the scenes for years.

Probably ever since Sammy Donnelly failed to clinch prize money in the FA Cup and got embroiled in public arguments over the size of his playing budget.

The only man laughing in the past week has been Lloyd.

It has been a forced, false, ironic sort of laugh, the sort you get from a man who is bewildered, angry and lost for words.

While Worthing plan a title bid and fans get excited about signings, there is no doubt recent events at Woodside have shown up the club in an awful light.

Within hours of Lloyd's departure, for example, Littlehampton's Carl Stabler pulled out of a pre-season date and possible youth tie-up with Worthing, saying he was disgusted at how his fellow manager had been treated.

Lloyd is the obvious loser in all this though Sussex football will be too if he is put off football coaching for good.

The former Albion boss was not universally popular around the Woodside terraces as his side fell well off the promotion pace.

Not that he let it bother him. He knew he was building a young team on a shoestring budget and without the luxury of strength in depth.

Results were hit and miss. His side were capable of awful lows but also of beating the very best in their division and were showing clear signs of progress.

Lloyd was helping out a local County League side before, 19 months ago, answering the call to replace Donnelly, who walked out. Little did he know he was swapping Worthing United for Worthing dis-united.

Or maybe he suspected Worthing lacked clear leadership and unity but was willing to put up with it for the buzz of being back at the club where he enjoyed success 20 years earlier.

Club president Morty Hollis has remained steadfast in his support of Lloyd while fellow directors Ray Smith and Martin Cook have been keen for change.

Lloyd was never afraid to speak when he did not feel he was receiving support at Board level.

Last October, a director suggested to The Argus that Rebels would be looking for a new manager if Lloyd's complaints about a lack of financial backing continued to appear in our pages.

Some statements coming from the club were contradictory. Take the consortium of local businessmen whose representative Andy Lee was supposed to be joining the Board.

His impending arrival was announced to the Press by Hollis, a senior director and stalwart supporter seen by many people as "Mr Worthing".

Smith later said that was never going to happen and questioned whether the consortium even existed.

Lee, an old friend of Lloyd, is adamant he and his associates were lined up to pump funds into the club, but only when they had assurances as to its financial state.

He insists he was invited on to the Board by Hollis and was willing to offer the club a loan, to be converted into shares at a later date.

Then there was chairman Beau Reynolds stating a week ago: "I always back my managers."

On Thursday night he was one of four directors to vote that Lloyd should leave his managerial position.

Even then, the cut was not a clean one. When asked by The Argus what had happened at what was clearly a key meeting, Smith, the vice-chairman, replied: "Not a lot really."

We were later advised by a third party of the vote against Lloyd.

Smith, fielding questions because Reynolds was unavailable, then admitted the vote had taken place but insisted Pook and Lloyd would work as joint managers.

No wonder Lloyd just managed a "no comment" and laugh when we asked for his reaction, as he did a day later when the club website reported he had been invited back and all was sweetness and light.

A classic case of the club saying what they hoped would happen rather than giving hard facts.

By Monday evening, Lloyd was out and Pook was in total command of first team affairs.

Pook knows Worthing well. He played for them and believes the club has massive potential.

Would he, though, have gone in there as a director had the Ryman League not prevented his Withdean team joining their ranks at the end of last season?

It seems unlikely.

Pook appointed himself joint first team boss before Lloyd knew anything about it.

He insists he wanted Lloyd to stay, so why did he not vote in his favour last Thursday evening?

The explanation given is that he was taking training yet, as a director, he surely knew the vote was coming and should have been there to help decide the fate of the first team manager.

Throw in the loss of the Albion friendly, which guarantees the club a five-figure sum, because the pitch was not ready and you get a mess.

You also get a situation where, weeks after his Withdean team were, for somewhat confusing reasons, denied promotion to the Ryman League by the FA, Pook has got there anyway as first team boss, football supremo and the most influential voice on a dis-united Board.

No one deserves any medals for the way it all happened.