Grays Athletic and Julian Dicks go separate ways

Grays Athletic have parted company with manager Julian Dicks by mutual consent after 20 months in charge.

The 42-year-old has overseen a tumultuous time at the club, who dropped three divisions last summer because of financial problems.

Grays chief executive Andy Swallow told BBC Essex: "We felt Julian wants to manage at a higher level and we had to do what was best for Grays Athletic."

Grays finished 10th in Ryman Division One North   this season.

Former West Ham and Liverpool defender Dicks was appointed Grays boss in September 2009  but they ended last season bottom of the 23 teams that finished the Blue Square Premier and dropped straight down another two divisions.

Dicks' only previous managerial experience came in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division during a five-month spell with Wivenhoe Town in the second half of the 2008/09 campaign.

On Monday, he announced his interest in becoming manager of West Ham, who will play five divisions above Grays next season.

Swallow said the Essex side would have a new manager in place within the next week.

"It's already underway," he explained.

"We will be wrapped up in four or five days, we've got a fans' meeting on 26 May, we''ll unveil the new manager at that meeting."