MSFL. Faithfold B v Hendon B

Faithfold manager Rob Shooman

One of four managers fined last week after his team forfeited a tie in the Peter Morrison Cup has vowed his side will never play in the competition again.

Faithfold B boss Rob Shooman said he was left ‘gobsmacked’ and ‘disgusted’ when handed a £75 fine, and said he feels ‘bitter’ over the ‘bad treatment’ his team has faced.

Revealing how he told committee members exactly what he thought of the fine he’d been handed, he said: “I went into the committee room on my way out and told them I think it’s a disgusting situation, and as far as I’m concerned Faithfold B will never be entering the competition again – even if they revert back to last season’s set-up. While I am manager of Faithfold B, I will not enter this competition again because of this situation.”

Shooman’s side were fined £75, compared to £50 handed out to both Hendon B and Real Sosobad, and £40 to Faithfold A, which according to Shooman was because they called their tie off more than a week in advance, compared to the other three who forfeited closer to the match date.

Shooman said: “I find the differential between the fines unacceptable and I’m absolutely disgusted. I feel very aggrieved to have to pay the most money in a fine where I feel I was being very honest up front, giving the other team plenty of time to make sure they didn’t experience any expense.

“As far as I’m concerned I told them the truth in respect to why I couldn’t get the game on. Had we have got the game on, it would have cost the club, me, maybe another sponsor of Faithfold, in the region of £600-700, which we were willing to pay at the time. I told Laurence Thorne and David Woolf [League chairman] the situation was difficult, not only was I having a problem getting the players to play on the Sunday afternoon, but also when I did find a decent pitch to play on at The Hive, I was told by Laurence that two hours isn’t long enough in case of extra-time and penalties. I said ok, and that I’d book an extra hour – at a cost of an extra £200, and was then told by him I couldn’t because he was taking his juniors to play there.

“I gave the northern team plenty of notice and I felt it warranted some sort of notional fine, it was the early round of the competition. When they fined me £75 I was gobsmacked especially when the next team in were the A’s and they got fined £40. That’s £115 pounds worth of fines to Faithfold as a club for not being able to play a match, to me this is totally and utterly all down to the change of the rules in the way the Morrison is being run.”

Hendon B player-manager Adam Glekin says it’s “unlikely his side will enter the competition again unless they have a whole new batch of players for next season who say they would all be happy to make the trip up north”. Unhappy with the £50 fine his side were handed, he said: “I’m still not entirely happy because I didn’t feel the fine was justified, our club is already struggling financially and I felt going out of a cup we had paid £35 to enter in this manner was already enough punishment. However, I had no real option but to accept the fine and pay it.”

But one manager who doesn’t feel any resentment over their fine is Sosobad’s Daniel Shafron. He said: “We fully understand the reasons as to why we were fined. The matter is now over and I believe the committee handled it fairly.”

The forfeits came as a result of the changes to the format of the competition this season which allows northern and southern sides to face each other from the first round, instead of just the latter stages. However, Shooman believes next season’s tournament will revert back to its previous format and says discussions have already been held over reverting back to last season’s set-up.

While neither confirming or denying talks had taken place, Laurence Thorne, Chairman of the National Football Committee, did say “The competition format is reviewed annually at the AGM, therefore nothing further to add.”