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Cooper Quits Met Police Due To League Re-Structuring

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Des Flanders, chairman of Bostik League Premier club Metropolitan Police, has announced that manager Jim Cooper has resigned.

Cooper led the Met to the Isthmian League Division One South championship in the 2010/11 season after four previous defeats in play-offs.

He also led them to success in the 2010 London Senior Cup, beating AFC Wimbledon in the final.

In his playing career, Cooper played for Leytonstone & Ilford, Dagenham, Barking and the Met Police.

Next season, Met Police have been places in the Evo-Stik Southern League South under the re-construction of the Step 3 and 4 divisions of the non-League Pyramid.

Flanders told the club`s Pitchero website: “I was very sorry to hear from Jim Cooper that he is unable to carry on as manager. This illustrates the unknown and unforeseen consequences of what happens to clubs when the so called ‘blazers’ sit in judgement of where the axe falls without consultation or consideration of the impact of their decisions on clubs.

“Jim lives in Upminster and has been our manager for fifteen years. Would they really expect him to be able to make journeys from Essex to Dorset, Devon, Somerset and Wales to lead a part-time football club. We are a London-based club who need to operate in and around London and the FA Leagues Committee seem to have been blind to that orientation.

“As a club we are yet to consider whether to consider an appeal but Jim’s decision is predicated on the history of FA appeals where sitting as judge and jury of their own decisions they show a propensity to not overturn the decisions of their committees.

“As a club we are saddened at Jim’s decision. We have had our greatest successes with Jim at the helm. On a personal basis I am particularly despondent that Jim’s departure has been driven by an administrative decision which has no reflection on his achievements over many years.”

Cooper spoke out about his resignation: “Over the past fifteen seasons, I have managed 634 Isthmian League games and probably another 150 plus cup games for the Metropolitan Police. As a result of the league restructuring I have sadly informed the chairman that I have no other choice but to resign from this position.

“Travelling from my home in Essex to Imber Court alone was a strain, so to be moved into a league which for the club itself adds so many more longer trips on top of taking away the Essex and Kent games which were close by left me with little choice.

“I have been very lucky to have worked with some fantastic coaches, players and physios during my fifteen years and will remain friends with them all. I have seen our club move forward both on and off the pitch and with the development of our youth section I can say that the club has strong roots within the football community.

“I am proud that during my time as manager (with Gavin Macpherson close by), we won promotion from the Ryman South as champions. We won the London Senior and Surrey Senior cups. We played Crawley Town in the First Round of the FA Cup and made, five play -off finals.

“I would like to thank everyone at the Met for their support. All of the opposing managers who in my early years probably got it in the ear at some point in time, (I’ve mellowed though). The supporters of both the Met and away teams and finally to the referees who in their opinion probably found me ‘difficult’ at times. I don’t know how or why you do what you do but without you guys there would be no game.

“Moving forward I would like to stay involved in football and would consider any opportunities to remain involved and if not, I shall watch as many Bostik League games as possible”.

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