FORMER Manchester City star Asa Hartford has expressed his sadness after leaving Accrington Stanley as part of the club’s cutbacks.

The 60-year-old ex-Scotland international, formerly part of the backroom staff at Blackburn Rovers under Don Mackay and Kenny Dalglish, joined Stanley in 2008 as reserve team manager as well as working in the club’s youth system with Phil Hackney.

But the Reds opted to scrap their reserve team for this season and Hartford left the club after Saturday’s youth team match against Blackpool.

Stanley announced last week that they would have to make cuts for financial reasons, with some asked to take a reduction in hours, and fellow youth team staff Phil Backhouse and Tim Breaker have also since left the club.

“I was made redundant,” said Hartford. “They pulled the reserve team out of the league to save money so it was inevitable really.

“But although it was inevitable it was still a shock. It was a routine because I’d been doing it for three-and-a half years so to stop is hard.

“It might affect the youth system but they might still be able to get staff in. Phil and Tim left of their own volition so they might have funding for that.

“A lot of clubs are making cutbacks because there’s not a lot of money around – particularly at a club like Accrington because they don’t get big gates.

“John (Coleman) was sad about it and I have to thank him for giving me the job because at the time I didn’t know him and he didn’t know me.

"Normally you get jobs through people you know.

“I wish the club well and they have always had success under John, although it’s going to be difficult for them this season.

"Just for them to survive this season I think will be an achievement.

“I do have a lot of contacts in the game but there aren’t many jobs and a lot of people want them, so it’s not easy at the moment.”

A number of staff, groundsman Martyn Cook included, have been asked to reduce their hours from 37.5 to 22.5.

That has led to the departure of the long-serving Mick Schultz, who had been at the club since their days in the UniBond League and carried out a number of duties including kit man and safety officer.