Dear Mr Bullingham,
I’m writing this letter today to you in the face of a difficult decision I have to make on behalf of my club Frome Town Football Club. It’s with a heavy heart that I choose to make this public statement due to the lack of acceptable communication and timing from the FA about our fixture in the FA Trophy.
We are still awaiting confirmation that we ‘have’ to travel to Maidstone United tomorrow night at 7:45pm to fulfil our fixture in the FA Trophy. With Maidstone in tier 4 and classified as an ‘elite’ club, we are in the unenviable position of choosing whether to send our players into a Tier 4 area against the government advice and rules. As a non-elite team we do not have the resources of elite teams. The changing of the competition from non-elite to elite at this point seems incredibly unfair, especially at this later date with just 1 day before the fixture. Especially when the terminology of ‘elite’ was only redefined recently.
We want to know why our requests for this game to be held at a later date can not be met due to the competition rules. As a club we are ready and able to field a side for this fixture, and we understand that the FA will be asking the DCMS for the fixture to go ahead. However with player safety in mind, we feel we are being ‘forced’ into a situation of withdrawing from a competition that we have done everything we can to partake in.
As the Chairman of this club, we are doing our upmost survive, after it’s near collapse back in April. Our fans raised £20,000 to help pay off the most pressing club debts. The rules of tiering currently have us in the only band in football where football can currently not be played (step 3-4), with the leagues at our level concerned about teams travelling within Tier 3 regions. We are doing everything we can to keep this club afloat with no income and no foreseeable league fixtures, our Trophy run has been keeping this club going.
So to you, I ask do you wish me to send our players into Tier 4 or to withdraw from the competition?
Chairman Frome Town AFC