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Marc Bircham has claimed that refusing to play the son of owner Richard Forrest led to his sacking as Waterford manager. 

The former QPR player was dismissed in a rather public fashion, three days before the Blues promotion-relegation playoff with UCD.

Bircham tweeted on Tuesday morning to say he had been suspended after a disagreement with Forrest. But the club followed that shortly afterwards with the news that the 43-year old had actually been fired.

In a later statement, Forrest claimed he had been backed into a corner, and left with no alternative but to relieve Bircham of his duties.

"He has his son at the club. I didn’t play his son," Bircham told Talksport on Thursday.

"About a week ago, I told the chairman that his son wouldn’t play for me next year because I’ll be bringing in better players and he might not be on the bench for Friday’s game.

"He put in the statement that I’m not part of the long term future of the club. I’m not, because I wouldn’t play his son.’

Bircham added, "He’s bought Waterford for his two sons to play professional football.

"But don’t jazz it up any other way, I’ve just wanted to get on with it, but then he released a statement that was a bit ludicrous."

Bircham was only appointed in May, following the short and controversial reign of Kevin Sheedy and Mike Newell.

A run of eight wins in twelve matches briefly lifted the Blues out of trouble, while they also reached the semi-finals of the FAI Cup - pushing Bohemians to the very last at Dalymount.

However, their form dipped badly at the back end of the season - winning just three points from the last 15 available - condemning them to the promotion-relegation playoff.

"It goes back to the last game of the season," Bircham said of his strained relationship with Forrest.

"We had four suspended, three injured and we only had two subs. We had the U19s training with us and then on the Thursday - before the game on the Friday - we arrived for them to come train with us to be subs in the game.

"Then we got reports back to us that the academy director with the head of the college have decided that the players should train with the U19s because they had a cup final on the Saturday.

"So they didn’t train with us the before. My rule is if you don’t train the day before, you don’t play. So I didn’t use them, got asked in the press and explained it.

"Then the academy put out a statement on the social media side calling them all liars and they’d done nothing, I asked the chairman, 'you’ve got to put out a statement condemning that - and you’re dealing with it in-house - because I want to get on with the game, my staff members are fuming'.

"Then the owner stepped in and said 'no'.

"I said, 'well if you don’t I’ll have to release a statement backing my staff and telling the truth,' and then I was suspended."

Ian Hendon takes charge of Waterford for the playoff at Richmond Park on Friday night.

IFAB rejects extended half-times but 5 subs here to stay


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League Of Ireland Marc Bircham Richard Forrest SSE Airtricity Premier Division Waterford

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