AFC Wimbledon sack manager Brown after poor start to the season
14:51 GMT, 19 September 2012
AFC Wimbledon have parted company with manager Terry Brown and his assistant Stuart Cash following a poor start to the season.
Brown, 60, had been in charge of the Dons since 2007, guiding them from the Ryman League Premier Division to League Two.
But after a 16th place finish in their inaugural League season, Wimbledon have won just once so far this campaign – leaving them 21st in the table.
Gone: Terry Brown has left AFC Wimbledon with immediate effect following a poor start to the season
In a club statement, chief executive Erik Samuelson said: 'This is a terribly sad moment for all of us. Terry has been a wonderful manager and a fantastic ambassador for the club since we appointed him over five years ago.
'He and Stuart guided us from the Ryman League into the Football League and for that we will be forever grateful.
'On behalf of everyone at the club and all the fans, I’d like to thank them for everything they have done for us.'
First-team coach Simon Bassey will take temporary charge while the club search for Brown's replacement.
Poor start: Wimbledon have not won since the opening day of the season and currently lie 21st in League Two
In an emotional farewell, Brown said: 'Last night was a special moment as not many managers get to leave in such a way by saying goodbye to the supporters.
'Stuart and I felt that we had to get a couple of wins out of our home games and that if we lost both games then we would no longer be at the club.
'That is sad, but I will remember five absolutely fantastic years at the club. I cannot say I have enjoyed this season as it has not gone well, but my abiding memory will be our three promotions.
'I will never forget having the honour of being the manager who took AFC Wimbledon back into the Football League.
'It is really important that whoever takes over this club understands the history of this great club and hopefully the next manager will win the matches to keep us in League Two and maybe get us into League One.'
Brown was reportedly left in tears on Tuesday night after Wimbledon were beaten 1-0 at home by Torquay United, their third successive defeat.
But Cash had insisted then that they would not be standing down. However, following further reflection, the pair have changed their mind.
Brown added: 'I really feel as a manager that you have a timespan at a club, unless you are someone like Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger, and can continually be successful.
'There comes a point when it is time to move on and maybe a club needs someone else. I may have a heavy heart at the moment, but I will be at Wycombe on Saturday supporting the boys.
'I would really like to thank the board, who have supported us all the way. They have been fantastic, even up until the last week when we needed to bring in Steven Gregory and Will Antwi due to injuries.
'I must also say a big thank-you to the volunteers at the club as they have been a huge help to me.
'The fans have been absolutely fantastic to me as they were even singing my name even when things were not going well and it looked like I would be leaving.
'I will still look for Wimbledon’s results and will still come and visit even if Stuart and I find another club.
'It is not a time for being despondent about leaving the club, it is time to remember the fantastic times that we have had here.'
Gutted: Brown was reportedly in tears after a freak Rene Howe goal gave Torquay a 1-0 win at Wimbledon on Tuesday night
In all, Brown was in charge for 266 competitive games for Wimbledon, winning 126, drawing 58 and losing 82.
In his first season in charge, Brown guided Wimbledon out of the Isthmian League with a 2-1 play-off final win against Staines Town.
After remoulding the team before their first Conference South campaign, Wimbledon stormed to the title and a place in the Conference Premier.
They finished 8th in their first season but made an assault on the championship in their second in 2010-2011.
After ending up second, they beat Luton Town 4-3 on penalties in the play-off final after a 0-0 draw in normal time to reach the Football League just nine years after their formation.
In a statement, Cash said: 'I am very proud to have been a part of the management team here and to have helped the club to so many successes during the past five years.
'The club have been fantastic to myself and Terry. Along with the supporters and volunteers, I must take time to thank the club staff and people like Stuart Bassey, Jason Moriarty, Mike Rayner, Trevor Williams and Robin Bedford as they have been a pleasure to work with.
'But we must also remember the players who helped to get us into the Football League. Without the likes of our first captain Jason Goodliffe, Jon Main and Danny Kedwell we would not have got out of the non league.
'You are only as good as the players that you have on board. So many people have helped to make our time at the club a success and played a massive part in our achievements.
'Our first season in the Football League was a great experience for everyone at the club. We have had some big defeats, but great wins too, in particular, the win at Morecambe stands out for me.
'It has been a frustrating time in the last two or three weeks in trying to get a fully fit squad on the pitch and constantly chopping and changing things, but I am really proud to have been a part of Wimbledon’s success during the past five years.'
Wimbledon's next match is away to Wycombe on Saturday.