Paul Kee doesn’t hold any grudges against Institute despite being sacked from his job as manager this week.
And he has wished his home town club all the best for the future.
“As we’re all aware we are in a result driven business we hadn’t won a league game in 25, so yeah, I could see this decision was coming,” stated Kee.
“I was asked on Monday night to resign but I declined as I felt there is still work to be done.
“But I’m obviously disappointed to be sacked.
“The club is left in a fairly good position with some very good young players so it’s important these players are given time in the near future to develop.
I was asked on Monday night to resign but I declined as I felt there is still work to be done.Paul Kee
“Yes, I know mistakes have happened but these mistakes are possible because of the position we find ourselves in, a young inexperienced squad in Premiership terms, the team was on a learning curve.
“Maybe the promotion last year was a tad too early for us but we’ve had a blast this season and a lot of people have benefited from the Premiership experience
“The loss of key players did play its part but ultimately as manager the buck stops with me. I’d like to thank the staff this season who have worked tirelessly to improve results.
“I’d also like to thank the players for their effort and dedication over the season and thank supporters for all their help over the last four years.”
Worryingly for the club’s committee; fans and ex-players alike took to social media to criticise the decision.
The man in charge of the club’s official website Brian Campbell decided to shut the site down and in fact replaced the home page with a ‘totally clueless’ page. He also posted on Facebook – “I can see the club dropping down the leagues big time. Some of the committee need to take a long hard look at themselves.”
Former captain Graeme Philson stated on the club’s official Facebook page - “Lets be honest it would’ve taken a miracle worker to have kept Institute in the Premiership with the financial constraints the management operated under. I remember much the same situation a number of years ago at Crusaders who were relegated to the Championship. Baxter was trying to build a team with young local players and realised it was going to take time.
“Luckily he had a patient board who saw the bigger picture. This is the same team that won the Premiership this season. The saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ describes the job at Institute. Relegation for the club was not the end of the world but would’ve given Paul the chance to blood young local players in a league which is more forgiving.
“Knowing Paul he probably had a 4-5 year vision much the same as the last Institute team which comfortably held their own in the Premier league. It took him time to build that team and get a good blend of battlers, flair, energy, skill and experience. I can only speak from experience as he got the best out of me and all his players in those days.
“His plan worked and he built a team that beat Linfield 3 times in their first Premiership season and finished 6th in a much harder league. For me this decision not only is rash but suicidal for Institute FC!”
Philson’s ex-team-mate and former Derry City manager Declan Devine also took to Facebook to give his opinion - “Paul Kee one of the best and respected football coaches/mentors around the country north and south. He won’t be out of work for long. Helped alot of people in there football careers, me included.
“A brilliant fella and a brilliant coach Hope the next man in puts as much dedication and heart into the job.”