Marc Bircham has suggested he was sacked by Waterford FC because he would not play the son of owner Richard Forrest.

The Blues have had a chaotic week as they prepare for their crucial relegation/promotion play-off against UCD on Friday night.

On Tuesday Bircham was sacked, having initially been given a week-long suspension.

The former QPR player and coach later claimed he learned of his dismissal on Twitter, with Forrest subsequently releasing a statement saying that he felt he had no choice but to part ways with Bircham after being "given an ultimatum".

The saga has attracted a lot of unwanted attention for Waterford, who have brought in ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender Ian Hendon to the coaching staff to help prepare for Friday's showdown.

Bircham meanwhile is not going quietly.

Speaking to talkSPORT radio on Thursday, Bircham said: "Our relationship was strained because I'm not a yes man.

"The owner has his son [defender George Forrest] at the club and I didn’t play him. About a week ago, I told [chairman] Mitch Cowley that he wouldn’t play for me next year because I’d be bringing in better players and he might not be on the bench in the play-off.

"I’m not part of the future because I won’t play his son. I’m a man of principle and it has cost me managing the play-off final but I’d do the same again."

Bircham took the reins back in May when Waterford were bottom of the table. Their fortunes improved and they finished 27 points ahead of 10th placed Longford, narrowly missing out on outright survival.

They still have a shot of staying up when they take on the Students at Richmond Park but events this week means preparations have been seriously disrupted.

Elaborating more on the fallout, Bircham added: "It goes back to the last game of the season against St Patrick's Athletic. Between suspensions and injuries, we only had two subs.

"My rule is if don’t train day before, you don’t play. I explained the reasons in the press after the match.

"The Academy put out a statement [denying Bircham's claim he was not permitted to use U19s players], after which the chairman told them to take it down. My staff members were fuming.

"I asked the chairman to put out the statement condemning that and then deal with it in-house ahead of the game on Friday.

"When he did, but the owner stepped in to say no, I said that I’ll release a statement backing my staff and telling the truth."