Frickley Athletic chairman Gareth Dando is upset at Shaw Lane Aquaforce’s decision to withdraw from the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup final.
Mr Dando has described Shaw Lane’s withdrawal as “disrespectful” to everyone involved. The final was cancelled earlier this (Monday) afternoon.
Mr Dando said: “On behalf of Frickley Athletic I’m incredibly disappointed by the decision of the Chairman of Shaw Lane Aquaforce to withdraw them from the Sheffield Senior Cup Final less than 36 hours before the game was due to kick off.
“I feel very sorry for both sets of players and supporters who I know were looking forward to tomorrow night’s game which would have been a great way to end a wonderful season. In my view the decision to withdraw is disrespectful to the supporters and players as well as to the competition itself.
“Over 30 clubs take part in this completion , which is the 4th oldest cup competition in the world. All those clubs who enter know the rules which in our view should be applied in the same way to all clubs, regardless of what some clubs may wish.
“We’ve played four games to get this far and the reward for all that effort is to have what would have been a great occasion taken away from us when we have played by the rules and done nothing wrong.
“All teams were aware of the scheduled date of the final well before the semi finals were played. At that time there was an outside chance we could have reached the play offs but we did not request that the date of the final be moved.
“Last week Shaw Lane proposed playing their play off and the Cup Final on consecutive nights so I’m puzzled why they’ve now said to the Sheffield FA that they’re not willing to play twice in two days. If we’d have been in their position we would have played regardless of how we felt about that schedule.
“Mr Wood obviously feels differently and now it’s up to the Sheffield FA and the Football Association to decide what the consequences will be of his decision.
“Once again I have to say how sorry I feel for our fans and supporters but the decision not to play is not ours and there is nothing Frickley Athletic can do about it.”
The Sheffield & Hallamshire FA have issued a brief statement saying: “It is hugely disappointing that Shaw Lane Aquaforce have chosen to withdraw from the competition at such short notice.
“We cannot comment further as a decision on the club’s withdrawal will have to be made in due course based on the rules of the competition.”