Andy_Wood_with_Andy_Hunt_2December 25 - Andy Wood (pictured right) has claimed that he quit as head coach of Britain's badminton team because of interference from other people not because of the funding cuts imposed on the sport's preparations for London 2012.

Wood, who had helped Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson to Olympic silver medals at Athens in 2004, resigned earlier this week after only four months in charge.

But he insisted that it had nothing to do with UK Sport cutting the sport's funding by £541,700 ($858,207) after after a British player or pair failed to reach the quarter-finals at the World Championships in August shortly after Wood assumed his new role.

"I took on this role on the understanding that I would have the autonomy and the power to make critical decisions," Wood said.

"I wasn't getting the backing I wanted to do the job the way that I wanted to do it.

"Once it became apparent that I didn't have the control to drive the programme forward I felt I had no choice.

"It's a bit sad, having been involved with them for 35 years as a player and a coach, especially with it being so close to the Olympics, which are coming so quickly.

"We have prepared so long for them and it's a shame it should come to this but once I was put in that position, I felt I had to be true to myself. I've never been a yes man.

"The funding cuts was not the reason why I took this decision.

"We're used to ups and downs with funding - that's something we work with, unfortunately.

"I do think the funding cuts are harsh but the country is broke, so sport is going to get cut.

"I think all sports are going to feel the effect of that after the Olympics."

Donna Kellogg claimed that Wood's departure was a massive loss to the sport.

Together with partner Anthony Clark, she won a silver medal at the 2006 World Championships after losing to Emms and Robertson in a final where all players were coached by Wood.

Donna_Kellogg_grimacing"Andy has great experience over 10 or 12 years and three Olympics and has helped win numerous medals and titles, so to walk away after a few months is very surprising," said Kellogg (pictured).

"Andy is a good friend and I know it would have been a dream come true for him to lead a team into an Olympics on home soil.

"A lot of the older players who won the medals have all gone now and it was so important to have somebody of Andy's experience to help the young players come through.

"It's going to be very difficult to find someone at a similar level to take his place.

"The next person is going to have big shoes to fill."

Wood is now pondering his next move.

"I care passionately about our success and I hope to be there in some role or other to help support the players," he said.

"I don't know what I'm going to do.

"I haven't got anything lined up but I just know this is the right thing to do.

"I've got to figure out what's next for me but no doubt I will keep coaching in some capacity."

Wood believes that his short period in charge was a success.

"The last few months have seen a big turn-around," he said.

"We have had some very successful players all retire at the same time and it takes a bit of time for the younger ones to step up and fill their shoes but we do have some good players and I'm sure they will be able to push the sport forward."

Related stories
December 2010: Another blow for British badminton as head coach quits
December 2010: GB Badminton to ask itself "hard questions" to meet challenge of funding cut
December 2010: Hockey winner, badminton loser latest in UK Sport funding review
August 2010: Wood named as new British head badminton coach
June 2010: Badminton England performance director quits