sport

Moore could have kept Rovers up

Ronnie Moore is adamant he would have kept Tranmere Rovers in League One had he not been sacked for breaching betting rules.

The 61-year-old was suspended by Rovers in February after being charged by the FA for breaching betting rules and was sacked in April after pleading guilty.

He was handed a one-month suspended ban from football and a 2,000 fine at a hearing on Thursday after placing close to 100 bets over a three-year period, though only one of those was on the result of his own club.

When Moore was suspended Rovers were four points above the drop zone, but under the caretaker care of Moore's assistant John McMahon they won only four of their final 15 games and were relegated to League Two for the first time since 1988/89.

But Moore insists it would have been different had he stayed at the helm.

"I think I would have kept them up," he said. "We had turned the corner, we had a great result at Bristol City.

"There is no one better in that position than me. Then to put a novice in, who had no experience as a manager, no disrespect to Johnny Mac, it's not his fault.

"It would have been difficult for him. I would have had no doubt if I had been there we would have kept them up."

Moore's sacking ended a long association with the Prenton Park club. He represented them as a player over two spells, with three tenures as manager.

But he is upset at the manner of his exit.

"I have loved every minute of Tranmere. It's disappointing that it has ended on this sour note," he added.

"The supporters have been fantastic with me, I think they know there was a strain on the finances.

"If we'd have invested last January when we were top of the league we would have been in the play-offs at least.

"As soon as it came out, there was no, 'Hey Ronnie, come here, what's going on?'.

"I think it was an easy way out for them. Had we been top of the league, there was no way in this earth it would have happened."