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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Christie quits as Inverness boss
Charlie Christie
Charlie Christie took charge in January 2006
Charlie Christie has resigned as head coach of Inverness Caley Thistle after a disappointing start to the season.

The Highland club made the announcement at a Monday media conference at Caledonian Stadium.

Director of football Graeme Bennett said: "Charlie Christie has asked to terminate his contract.

"This has come as a shock to myself and the rest of the board, but Charlie has reached the view that the pressures of the job affected his personal life."

The 41-year-old, who played for both Inverness Thistle and Caledonian before the clubs merged, had been head coach since January 2006.

He was a first-team coach and lottery manager before stepping in as caretaker manager following the departure of Craig Brewster.

I think Charlie has just decided that enough's enough

Caley Thistle midfielder Barry Wilson

But, after three straight wins, he was persuaded to take the post full-time.

He reportedly threatened to quit last season but stayed on to lead the club to an eighth-place finish in the SPL, well clear of relegation trouble.

But they presently sit bottom with no points from their first three matches of the new term.

And Bennett said that Christie had decided that "his wife and family must come first".

"It has been a stressful time for Charlie, who does not want ot make any comment at this time," he said.

"Our chairman, Alan Savage, is on a business trip to Kazakhstan but has asked me to express his surprise and disappointment at Charlie's decision but his full acceptance of his reasons.

"The first I knew was when Charlie came to me on Sunday morning saying the stresses of management was proving greater than he had anticipated.

"Being a local man, he is perhaps too accessible to media and public alike.

"A genuinely nice and decent and honourable guy has felt pressures which he can no longer cope with and he is relieved at finally making the decision.

"We had hoped he would stay for years to come and had actually begun discussions with him on a new contract."

The club's board will meet in the next couple of days to decide on their strategy to find a successor.

Caley Thistle midfielder Barry Wilson says the Inverness players should accept responsibility for Christie's exit.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

"We feel we've probably let him down at the start of the season," said Wilson.

"We haven't got the results, but we're only three games in and have plenty of time to turn things around."

The 35-year-old believes his former team-mate has been affected by the strains of management.

"I've known Charlie for years and I've noticed a change in him," said Wilson.

"I don't think he was relishing the job."



SEE ALSO
Harsh words forgotten - Christie
29 Mar 07 |  Inverness CT
Inverness unveil Christie as boss
27 Jan 06 |  Inverness CT


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