UNHAPPY Paul Smith pulled no punches this week following his sudden and surprising departure as manager from top of the table Bromsgrove Sporting.

Smith quit the Victoria Ground last week following a board meeting after initially signalling his intentions to step down at the end of the season.

But Smith revealed: "The fall out from last Monday night's board meeting made it crystal clear that they wanted me out.

"It's a crying shame and has left a bitter taste in my mouth - but then nothing should surprise me in football.

"I am bitterly disappointed at the way things have worked out and as people can easily see, my departure has nothing to do with football.

"Managers get the sack when their teams aren't doing well - not when they're sitting top of the table.

"In total, I lost 13 times in 139 games. We won the league going through the entire season unbeaten and reached the semi-finals of the FA Vase.

"At the moment, we're top of the league with games in hand over our closest rivals - what more could I have done."

Smith now plans to take a break from football but doesn't intend to be inactive for long.

He said: "This has all been a bit unexpected, because I still believed I would get the chance to go to the end of the season and see things through.

"But when it became obvious I wasn't getting the backing from the board that I wanted, I simply couldn't continue.

"I was working between 20 to 40 hours a week for Bromsgrove Sporting without getting paid, it was all for free.

"But come the summer, I'll be looking for a new project and looking to get back.

"I would like a new challenge, hopefully at a higher level, because I want to test myself.

"I understand that some players have left following my departure and that one or two more may also be moving on.

"All I would say, is that the players should do want they want to do and I wish new manager Brendan Kelly all the best".

Smith also praised the Bromsgrove Sporting supporters and insisted: "They have been absolutely unbelievable.

"When I first came to the club over four years ago, the average crowd was around 200 - now it's up to 800.

"The amount of messages of support I've received since leaving has been quite simply amazing and very humbling.

"They've backed me and been so loyal that I cannot thank them enough. The giant has awoken."

The fall-out from Smith's departure continued this week following a player exodus. Wade Malley has returned to previous side Racing Club Warwick while Ahmed Ali, Robbie Bunn and Liam Holt have also left the club.