EASTLEIGH have announced the departure of three board members – including chairman Mark Jewell.

Jewell, who has suffered ill health of late, has stepped down from his role at the National League club, along with the long-serving Alan Harding and financial director/company secretary Joanne Sprigg.

A club statement explained: “Mark Jewell was a very popular figure around the club and was instrumental in bringing in new sponsorship and playing an important role in the transition to the new ownership.

“Unfortunately, ill health has hampered Mark’s ability to be effective in the daily demands of the chief executive role and has stepped down by mutual consent.

“Alan Harding has been a highly respected member of the board and passionate supporter of the club for 14 years. Alan, a very successful local business entrepreneur decided to step down from the board due to his on-going personal interests.

“Alan was at pains to stress that he made this decision with a heavy heart and pledged he would continue to support and promote the club in the future at every opportunity.

“Joanne Sprig, prior to joining the board, was responsible for overseeing the HR and financial aspects of the club and was deservedly appointed a board member earlier this year to assist with the new ownership transition.

"Joanne will continue to provide support to the club in a non-executive capacity.”

This latest news, coming just days after manager Andy Hessenthaler’s departure to Dover Athletic, has caused some concern among fans.

But Eastleigh are going well on the pitch, aiming for a fifth straight league win at home to Aldershot Town tomorrow (3pm), and the mood from within the camp remains positive.

A spokesman for the board added: “Going forward, our goals and ambitions are unchanged as we continue the positive progress at the club.

“Alan, Mark and Jo all offered different skill sets and will all be missed.

“The board of Eastleigh Football Club would like to thank Alan, Mark and Joanne for their exceptional contribution and wish them all every success in the future.”

The club have assured fans that former owner/chairman Stewart Donald left them well set up and financially secure.

There are plans to bring in more permanent staff members this month to help maximise the impressive Silverlake Stadium facilities.