Jack Lester told a Chesterfield director that he wasn’t the right man to get them back out of non-league.
Ashley Carson says that Lester also felt responsible for the planned cuts to his management team.
The club will cut their £2.2m wage budget in half and Lester was told he would have to say goodbye to members of his backroom staff.
The director said: “Jack took it badly, the fact that he was going to lose staff.
“He felt responsible for that.
“We’re cutting the budget back next year and he did say to me at the time ‘I didn’t sign up for this’ which he didn’t, but we didn’t sign up for relegation either.”
Carson says they parted on good terms and praised Lester for putting the club’s plight before his own job.
“We’ve shaken hands and we’ve said we’ll go out and have a beer in a couple of weeks,” said the company secretary.
“It’s taken a big person to hold his hand up and say I’m not cut out for this lower league, which is going to be a battle next year, you need someone else to help you get straight out and I’m not the person for it.”