Simon Bassey has said he had an offer that was simply too good to turn down after departing Barnet to join Portsmouth.

The coach’s intervention halted a difficult run of form for the Bees last season, as they struggled through their National League season.

Bassey was offered a long term deal at the Hive, but told the club website that the offer was one he could not walk away from.

“I very much enjoyed my time working at Barnet Football Club,” said Bassey. “I would like to thank all the players and all the staff for their efforts during my time at The Hive. I would like to thank the Chairman for giving me the opportunity to work at this brilliant football club. The players and backroom staff gave absolutely everything they had during my spell and ensured that we restored some pride come the end of the campaign.

“I was planning on staying for a longer period of time, but ultimately an opportunity has come up for me to work at a higher level and it’s a fantastic opportunity for me; one that I felt I couldn’t turn down.

“The Chairman has tried everything he can to convince me to stay, but I just feel at this time the opportunity gives me the chance to work at the best level I can, with ambitions of working even higher next year. I want to thank all of the supporters for their encouragement since I came in. Even though they couldn’t be with us I have felt their presence and I am grateful for that. It makes it even more special we could finish with two wins in front of them. I wish nothing but the best for everyone at Barnet Football Club moving forwards.”

Barnet Chairman Tony Kleanthous spoke of his frustration following Bassey’s departure and said that the search for his replacement was underway.

“I was delighted with the progress we had made during Simon’s time at the Club and was very keen to have him on board for the upcoming campaign,” he said.

“I am disappointed but understanding of Simon’s decision and I wish him well for the future. We will now go about making the right appointment to take us forward into pre-season and the campaign ahead.”

A brief club statement said: “We’d like to thank Simon for all of his efforts during his time at the Club and wish him well for his future endeavours.”