Following the decision of the FAW Disciplinary Sub-Committee relating to a breach of Adran Trophy Rule 13 for ‘failing to fulfil an engagement to play an Adran Trophy knockout stage match on 10th December and causing the match to be abandoned’, the club would like to express its disappointment with the Sub-Committee’s decision to remove the club from the above competition.
The club had on two occasions, travelled up to North Wales, costing circa £2,000 in expenditure with the full intention to fulfil this fixture initially scheduled for 3rd December which was postponed on the day of the fixture with both teams present. On 10th December, our players and coaching staff made a return trip for a second attempt to play the fixture, only to find what we strongly deemed, an unplayable pitch which included consensus from internal staff that are active and qualified referees.
Given the appointed match official deemed the pitch playable, we refused to take to the field of play, sighting a serious concern for player safety and welfare, given the ball would not bounce in several areas of the pitch and with large divots on the playing surface. The match official also admitted the ball would not bounce in several areas of the pitch. Both video and photographic evidence was submitted by the club to the FAW as well as statements from other Tier1-2 referees for a balanced opinion. We feel very strongly that this decision sets a very dangerous precedent for pitches deemed safe to play a football match and we maintain that as a club, we made the correct decision not to take to the field of play.
The club has twice tried to fulfil this fixture costing over £2,000 and 2x 10 hour round trips and we are deeply frustrated in how this situation has been handled and lack of empathy. Whilst we always endeavour to fulfil our fixtures, as our club history will testify, we would never risk the safety of our players and would take a similar approach should a similar situation arise in future.
We fully appreciate the excellent job that referees carry out on a weekly basis, having a number of qualified referees within our own setup. However, on this occasion, the inconsistencies of the referee’s actions and comments across both fixture dates we felt was unacceptable.
In addition, the club were informed prior to travelling for the second attempted fixture on 10th December, that a 3G artificial pitch had been booked as a back-up option by the host club, which proved inaccurate as the said 3G facility had existing bookings in place until 3pm with closure at 4pm having checked ourselves with the facility operator.
Ultimately, we regret this set of circumstances and the decision of the FAW Disciplinary Sub-Committee and feel as a club we have tried everything possible, including a large financial outlay to fulfil this fixture on two occasions.