HARRIERS chairman Colin Gordon insists he's "going nowhere" and is continuing to lead the search for the club's next manager.

Gordon has whittled down a host of prospective candidates to three leading contenders and has already started the interview process.

There have been rumours of a significant new investor upping their involvement at Aggborough following comments made by former boss Mark Yates.

Yates took to social media last weekend to hit back at post-match comments from Gordon criticising the work-ethic of managers this term.

Yates claimed that a new man will soon be in charge and that the decision by Gordon to remove him before the final two games was the current chairman’s “final act”.

He also said that a prospective new chief has already “come to the rescue of the club in a significant financial way” this season.

However, Gordon insists nothing has changed at the club and that new investors, including Halesowen-based IT firm EBC Group, have been involved for some time.

He explained: "We have investors that have been involved here for a while now and nothing has changed on that front.

"They are here and want to be involved because they believe in the project and what we are trying to build. They are involved for the project and the education side of things, not just a football club.

"I'm going nowhere and will be helping to find the next manager.

"People need to remember that I have a board that I need to answer to. I don't just make decisions about managers and the club all by myself."

On the club's search for a new boss, he added: "It's all progressing well. We know we need to do something before the end of the month and that is what we're working to.

"We have the shortlist down to three candidates and we've already started talking to them and had meetings.

"That will continue and we hope to get it sorted soon. We haven't put an exact timeframe on it because we want to make sure we get it right."

Meanwhile, Gordon says having no manager will not hinder the club's pre-season plans.

Nineteen-goal top scorer Joe Ironside has been offered a new deal to remain at the club along with full-back Sam Austin, goalkeeper Tom Palmer and defender Fraser Horsfall.

With the club exercising an option in his contract, Ed Williams will remain with Harriers for a second season.

He joins Ashley Chambers, Milan Butterfield, Harry Higginson, Russ Penn, Ryan Johnson, Declan Weeks and Jimmy O’Connor in being part of the squad.

Billy Daniels and Joel Taylor have been invited to return to the club ahead of pre-season training later in the summer.

However, striker Kane Richards, goalkeeper Brandon Hall and midfielder Liam Truslove will leave Aggborough once their current contracts expire shortly.

Nick Clayton-Phillips, Josh Heaton and Liam McAlinden will return to their parent clubs after loan spells.

"Nothing has stalled and nothing is being held up because we don't have a manager," said the chairman. "I wouldn't have worked in the game as long as I have if that was the case.

"The players appreciate this club and want to be here and it's now about us providing the right environment for them.

"A lot of our best signings have come from trialists we've had and we are already lining them up for pre-season. We need to leave the door open for trialists to come in and show what they can do while also having the basis of the squad for next season in place."