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Bristol Rovers sacks John Ward

John Ward was sacked after the club were relegated Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Bristol Rovers have sacked director of football John Ward.

It follows the club's relegation from the Football League.

Ward was appointed manager in December 2012 when Rovers were languishing at the bottom of League Two, and helped them to a mid-table finish.

It was his second spell as manager of Bristol Rovers. He was previously in charge between 1993 and 1996.

But with the team struggling at the bottom of League Two this season, Ward was moved to director of football in March, with his assistant Darrell Clarke taking over as manager.

But Clarke was unable to stop Rovers dropping to non-league.

Their fate was confirmed last Saturday, on the final day of the season, following their 1-0 defeat by Mansfield.

Rovers expected to outline plans for Conference football

Bristol Rovers are expected to outline later today further plans for next season in the light of their relegation from the football league. Although manager Darrell Clarke will stay, 12 players have been released and one put on the transfer list - see our website for details.

12 players have already been released by the club Credit: ITV News West Country

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Rovers publish retained list following relegation

Bristol Rovers have published their retained list for next season following their relegation to the Conference.

A total of 12 players will leave the club, including Fabian Broghammer, David Clarkson, Seanan Clucas and Steven Gillespie

Alan Gow has been offered the chance to earn a new contract by proving his fitness during the summer.

Ellis Harrison has been placed on the transfer list by the club.

See the full retained list here.

Higgs: 'We have hit rock bottom'

A statement posted on the Bristol Rovers website by chairman Nick Higgs confirmed that Rovers would continue to employ a full time playing and back room set up, retaining one of the best budgets in the Conference.

He went on to say there would be a number of announcements over the coming weeks but no 'knee jerk' decisions.

We have hit rock bottom, but I can assure you we will fight back. Bristol Rovers is a club with a proud history, and we must make every effort to restore that pride. We must work hard over the coming weeks to make sure we are able to hit the ground running and do our best to bounce back at the earliest opportunity.

We will be making a number of announcements over the next few weeks, so I would ask you to bear with us at this very difficult time. I know you all want answers and actions, and I can assure you that we will be trying our best to get things back on track.

– Nick Higgs, Chairman

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Rovers to keep full time players & staff in Conference

In a statement released on the Bristol Rovers website. Chairman Nick Higgs has said:

There are critical decisions that need to be made in the best interests of the club, and we will have to look at the financial implications of relegation as the Football League contribution will be cut.

We will have to review the playing budget and all other costs associated with running the club, but we will be keeping a full time playing and back room set up, and we will still have one of the best budgets in the Conference.

– Nich Higgs, Chairman

Arrests following crowd trouble at Rovers match

Six people have been arrested following disorder at today’s match between Bristol Rovers and Mansfield Town at the Memorial Stadium, which saw Rovers relegated from the Football League.

There were small pockets of disorder before the match and a police horse was punched during one of these incidents.

At the end of the game, feelings were running high because of the disappointing result and unfortunately a number of fans went onto the pitch.

Some of these people were intent on engaging in acts of significant violence.

Mounted officers were swiftly deployed to keep rival fans apart and disperse the crowds safely.

Although the majority of fans were well-behaved, there were six arrests made for public order offences and assaults. There are likely to be more arrests as our enquiries continue.

Three police officers were injured during the disorder although thankfully their injuries are not serious.

We simply will not tolerate any form of anti-social behaviour or violence and we are committed to bringing offenders to justice using CCTV evidence, as well as other intelligence and information gathered during the policing operation.

– Police commander Supt Kevin Instance
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