Steve Smith says Jake Cass lied to him and disrespected him in fallout from striker's departure from Isthmian Premier side Bishop's Stortford
Steve Smith said Jake Cass let him, the players and the club down in the wake of his departure from Bishop’s Stortford.
The manager spoke out about the striker’s exit from the R&D Advisors UK Stadium after their 2-0 defeat at Hornchurch on Saturday, saying Cass had lied to him and disrespected him.
The club announced on Friday that they and the 15-goal top scorer had “decided to amicably part company”, thanking him for his services and wishing him “all the very best for the future”.
Cass, who had been away from the club for a period, responded to the statement on Twitter, saying: “I’d just like to place on record that I have been released and did not want to leave the club. I’m absolutely gutted, but such is life/football. Thank you to everyone involved.”
Smith then revealed more of the details of Cass’ departure when speaking to the club’s YouTube channel after Saturday’s defeat to the Urchins, which ended their 14-game unbeaten run in the Pitching In Isthmian League, Premier Division.
“Jake Cass has come out on record and said that he didn’t want to leave the football club he’s gutted to leave," said Smith.
“When I spoke to Jake yesterday [Friday], it was decided between me and him that it would be an amicable agreement between me and the player, so I’m disappointed that he’s come out with that comment.
“The truth of the matter is - I wouldn’t have said this in normal circumstances as I don’t like slating people or whatever - and the reason Jake Cass is not at this football club is because he lied to me.
"He went away, he lied to me and that doesn’t happen - when people disrespect me, I don’t have people do that to me.
“Jake Cass has left this football club because of his own doing. Whether he had issues away from the club he didn’t deal with it in the right way. He knows that, knows he didn’t deal with it in the right way.
“I don’t dislike Jake, I like him as a fella, I think he’s a good footballer and I’d brought him back in. But he let me down, he let the players down and he let Bishop’s Stortford Football Club down.”
The defeat at Hornchurch was the Blues’ first over 90 minutes in 19 games and saw them drop one place to fourth.
They now have a run of three consecutive home matches, starting on Saturday against 19th-placed Brightlingsea Regent.
“I didn’t think we were quite at it in the first half - it was difficult conditions out there - but second half I thought we were the better side,” said Smith.
“I thought we could have had a pen and we’ve had a chance at 1-0 where Frank’s [Frankie Merrifield] hit it straight at the keeper, probably should have scored to make it 1-1, and they’ve come straight down the other end and scored to make it 2-0.
“I knew it was going to be a hard place to come and it’s the end of the run, but we go again. We’re still in the mix and there’s still all to play for.
“This won’t derail us, it will make us stronger. If we get two or three results in the bag from now and we’ll be right back up in it and this result will be forgotten.”