The dressing room gave an “overwhelmingly negative” appraisal of John Morris’ management in the build-up to his shock release by Derbyshire this week.
Player power has emerged as the reason why head of cricket Morris and his assistant, Andy Brown, were told they would not be offered new contracts when their current deals expire at the end of this season and that they were no longer wanted by the club.
Derbyshire captain Luke Sutton has confirmed that every member of the first-team squad was canvassed by chairman Chris Grant to find out the extent of dissent in the ranks.
The strength of feeling that came through in those informal interviews, said Sutton, left the chairman, who has only been in post for six weeks, with no choice.
“We were consulted individually because it was a big decision for the committee and the new chairman to make. In my opinion, that was the right thing to do,” said Sutton.
“I think it’s fair to say the dressing room put their point across to the new chairman and that was reflected in the decision.
“I only know what I said to the chairman. I was the last player to speak to him, so my conversations with the chairman were not only my feelings, we were also discussing the collective feelings he had gathered together.
“In truth, I was pretty sure I knew what the reaction would have been. I think you would have to say it was overwhelmingly negative.
“The fact that the reason for him (Morris) not having his contract extended was to do with the dressing room does make it untenable for him to continue.
“The players feel a responsibility to make it clear to everyone where we stood because we have a brand new chairman who has made a very big decision and will take some flak for it and a large part of that responsibility is down to the dressing room.
“I think it’s important that is expressed because I don’t want to just leave our new chairman hanging there to take the flak with the committee.
“The easier decision for the chairman was to extend his contract. What he has done is make a very tough decision very early on in his chairmanship.”
No successor is yet being sought, with Sutton, academy director Karl Krikken, bowling coach Steffan Jones and committee man Tony Borrington, a former Derbyshire player, absorbing the roles of Morris and Brown at least until the end of the season.
Sutton acknowledged that the events of an extraordinary last couple of days has taken a toll on the players but says he feels they will be stronger in the long run.
“This has been a shock for everyone but it is very difficult for the guys in the dressing room because they know they are involved in something that people will talk about and that’s quite a destabilising thing,” he added.
“I think we will be absolutely fine. It will take time to bed down a little because events have moved very quickly. It is very emotional, very raw, but we have got a very honest group of players and some good people at the club.
“The players have got a responsibility now to get on with it and we will. I can honestly say our spirit is outstanding and that won’t get less, it will strengthen.”