MIKE Ford says he is disappointed to walk away from Banbury United but felt he had no other option.

The Puritans boss had been in charge since 2015, but talks over extending his contract, which expires today, hit a stumbling block.

Ford says he was asked to carry on without a female member of his coaching staff, with whom he is now engaged, who worked on a voluntary basis with the club this season.

The former Oxford City manager declined, feeling there was no conflict of interest.

It saw the discussions break down and United announced yesterday he was leaving.

Ford, who is now looking for another job, said: "I was asked to remove a female member of the coaching staff who had been exceptional in her duties and I refused to do it.

"We worked well together, as results showed. We were a happy group.

"I think it could have been dealt with in a better way."

He added: "We've had a promotion in my time there and finished sixth, ninth and then seventh when this season stopped.

"The club were in a good position and I think we have all given it hope it can progress."

After contacting the club about Ford's comments, a spokesman said they did not want to add anything to their original statement.