NEW manager Carl Abbott claims money from “outside” Evesham United’s playing budget created a “gravy train” culture last season.

Summer appointment Abbott said the club had given him an unchanged warchest but that additional funds “coming from elsewhere” had “created a false picture” when it came to him talking terms with Robins players from predecessor Paul Collicutt's time in charge.

Abbott politely declined to state where he believed the cash came from.

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It came on the back of local lad Sean Brain deciding to switch to Coleshill Town rather than stay at the Jubilee Stadium as announced earlier in the summer.

The striker spent much of last season playing for Studley on dual registration having found starts hard to come by.

“Sean is a local lad and I really wanted to give him a chance but he is unproven in the division,” said Abbott.

“That’s not his fault, he wasn’t given the opportunities, but in negotiating with an unproven player I think he felt his worth was greater than I could justify.

“It was not that I didn’t value him as a player, I wanted to give him the platform but we have had to cut our cloth accordingly and be sensible with things.

“I think things had got a little bit out of hand at the club for one reason or another.”

Asked if he had been referring to finances, Abbott replied: “Yes, largely because there was what the club put in and what was coming from elsewhere.

“It created a false picture. I am having to deal with that fact and offer sensible deals, I offered what I felt was fair for an unproven player with the caveat that he would be given every opportunity to prove himself and be re-evaluated on a monthly basis.

“He has decided he values himself differently and wants to go to Coleshill so I wish him the best of luck. I would have loved to see an Evesham boy do well but we need to look after the interests of the club.”

Asked if he would be working with a reduced budget, Abbott said: “I am not working on a reduced budget from the football club, they have been brilliant and are doing what they have (always) done.

“It is not my place to say (how) really but things have been blown out of proportion and what was going out was not a true reflection of what the club could afford or was doing itself.

“It seems to me that it became a bit of a gravy train, not from the football club, and it has to be sustainable, that what we do with our players is what the club is able to do.

"That’s how it will be moving forward.”

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Asked where he believed the extra money had come from, Abbott replied: “I don’t think that is necessary.

“The football club has been brilliant, they have provided me with a fantastic budget and not cut anything.

"Unfortunately some of the deals are outside of that budget, we cannot afford to do it but Evesham United is a big club with a strong budget and we will do well with that.”

Collicutt declined to directly confirm or deny Abbott's claims but said: “He has the same budget I had. It is up to him to make decisions about what he does or doesn’t do as the case may be.

“He has a (backroom) staff of seven I believe, I had five and used to get criticised for that.

"Still, it is a club that remains close to my heart and I wish Carl well in taking it on."

Collicutt, in charge at the Jubilee Stadium for five-and-a-half seasons, added he had declined to take a wage at Evesham, something he had also foregone while in charge of Bishop’s Cleeve.