Danny Ligairi-Badham has been released as Oxford Harlequins’ head coach for financial reasons.
The 40-year-old former Harlequins and Worcester wing labelled the decision “very frustrating” and offered to continue in his role for free.
Quins stalwarts Tony Edney and Jamie Cope will now coach the team to the end of a turbulent season in which relegation from National 3 South West looks very likely.
Ligairi-Badham was alrea-dy the third man Quins had at the helm this season after Tevita Vaikona and Josh Taumalolo.
“It is nothing personal, it is purely financial,” said Quins chairman John Finch. “We are planning for the future now.”
Finch added: “We are cutting our cloth accordingly at the moment because of the things that have happened.
“We are disappointed that we had to let him go, but we have had to cut our costs.
“There are other things that we have stopped as well.”
Ligairi-Badham joined Quins at Christmas and was appointed until the end of the season.
He said he was being paid £25 an hour plus expenses.
“I did offer to carry on for free, but they said it would be unprofessional,” said Ligairi-Badham.
“It is worrying, because I could have got sponsorship in for that. I know what to do and how the whole club can generate income.
“I had the full support of the club, I brought a breath of fresh air to it.
“It is very frustrating.”
Ligairi-Badham felt he could use his business contacts to boost Oxford Rugby – the partnership between Quins and the old Oxford club.
“They need help and they need structure,” he said.
“They seem to want to admit defeat, but if we win three or four games, we could stay up.
“I want the club to go forwards. I am very passionate about it. I sacrificed a lot to help them out.”
Finch stressed he has a dynamic new committee in place and that Oxford Rugby have a bright future.
“We are not in financial trouble,” he said. “We are just turning a corner.
“We had some bills, which we didn’t budget for and a couple of other things.
“We put four teams out last weekend and not many clubs can do that.”
Finch added: “We don’t need to have a coach we are paying for at the moment. Danny was doing a good job.
“I think mathematically we can stay up, but we have got to be realistic.
“I have got to see the season through.”