ODESSA, texas (KMID/KPEJ) – West Texas Warbirds general manager Zack Bugg announced Friday he had stepped down from his role and departed from the team’s front office.

Bugg said in a statement that the team did not share the same vision as him for the players. He accused front office members of attempting to start up a new arena football team in another city instead of focusing on the Warbids and that “didn’t sit right” with Bugg.

According to Bugg, sponsors were having difficulty continuing sponsorship of the team due to issues stemming from the first two seasons.

“I have a reputation that I must uphold. I couldn’t allow my integrity to be jeopardized for an organization that sees the football players as just players and isn’t about the kids,” the statement said in part.

Warbirds owner Leif Kertis responded to these claims saying he, as the business owner, is working with a group of investors to implement systems and processes for a new team in a different city, but that he is not actively pursuing ownership in the new team.

Kertis, owner of Kertis Sports and Entertainment Group, said he hired Bugg to run the day-to-day operations of the team locally from the Permian Basin and was surprised by his sudden departure.

“We brought Zack on as GM because we wanted someone local to be able to execute the vision and the mission of what the Warbirds were originally brought on to do,” Kertis said. “The whole goal of that was so that way I could focus on the overall of our parent company, which was supposed to be why he was brought on and the focus of the organization was his.”

Kertis said the team has hired a new general manager and the team has moved on since Bugg’s departure. The team released a full statement in response to Bugg’s statement.

Bugg also said in his statement that he is working to start a youth sports organization in the community.

Bugg is a local entrepreneur and was promoted to General Manager in August, at the conclusion of last season.

The Warbirds season begins in April.