BRIGHTLINGSEA Regent chairman Terry Doherty has threatened to quit his role if "keyboard warriors" continue directing "online abuse" at club officials.

A long-serving and valued committee member was left questioning his position following comments on social media.

The issue reached a head following the recent departure of long-serving defender Josh Gould, who has signed on a dual registration basis at FC Clacton.

It is part of a series of budget cuts, with the club forced to re-evaluate their position in terms of playing staff.

However, some of the comments that followed were deemed unfair and over-the-top, suggesting the player had been treated badly.

"Any online abuse directed at my staff is wholly uncalled for and wholly unfair," said Doherty in a statement on the Brightlingsea website.

"Unlike some of the players, who are on £600 to £700 a month, they do not earn a bean, even though they put twice as many hours into the club and are required to pay for their own travel and expenses.

"Players come and go - that's the nature of football nowadays - but the staff remain out of loyalty.

"If I lose staff members due to abuse by keyboard warriors then I will be forced to seriously consider my own position and the current status of the club itself within the league structure."

Gould has joined Clacton on a dual registration, which means he is still an R's player and may feature in manager Kem Izzet's plans.

"Budget cuts have forced us to re-evaluate our position regarding playing staff," added Doherty.

"Ninety-nine per cent of the players, including three of those under contract, have accepted fresh terms and thanked us for being honest.

"Kem knew the situation when he took over but some of the comments made over the weekend were very unfair.

"People appear to have misread the situation regarding Josh's departure.

"I'm not on social media but have been shown and made aware of some of the things that have been said.

"No-one has been treated badly or thrown out of the club and to suggest differently is out of order.

"It's really annoyed me because the staff and committee members here work so hard and put an awful lot of time in."

Regent, who host Histon in the Velocity Trophy on Tuesday night, climbed out of the relegation zone after pocketing a precious 2-1 victory against Corinthian Casuals on Saturday.

It was their first BetVictor Isthmian League premier division success since August and their first since Izzet took over at the Taydal Stadium.

New recruit Lewis Hewitt put them ahead just after the half-hour mark and although Nathaniel Pinney levelled in the second period, assistant boss Pip Boyland quickly restored Regent's lead.

There were some new faces in the squad, with four new signings confirmed on Saturday morning.

Goalkeeper Jake Jessup has joined from Cambridge City and went straight into the starting line-up, replacing the suspended Charlie Turner.

Joe Maybanks has returned to the club, having previously played for Stanway Rovers.

Goalscorer Hewitt has arrived from Witham Town while Samuel Coombes, another drafted straight into the starting line-up, has joined from Maldon and Tiptree.

Regent are away to Leatherhead on Saturday.