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SUFFOLK PREMIER CUP

Sunday 10th February 2013

Full transcript of Chairmans resignation letter

Fellow Directors

It is with much regret and deep sadness that, following the recent incidents between Suffolk FA and Felixstowe & Walton United Football Club, I must tender my resignation from the Suffolk FA board with immediate effect.

Clearly, being Chairman of Felixstowe & Walton United FC on the one hand and a board director of Suffolk FA on the other, inevitably from time to time, there is going to be a serious conflict of interest and this latest unfortunate incident between the football club and Suffolk FA, is a clear case in point.

You will doubtless appreciate that as Chairman of the football club, I have a duty to my committee and to the supporters and cannot be seen to do nothing when such unfortunate situations arise. Equally, I have tried to carry out my responsibilities as a Director of Suffolk FA as fairly as this unfortunate situation could allow me, but such is the conflict of interest I have to decide which party to continue with. I have been involved at Felixstowe & Walton United Football Club for some twelve years now and my heart lies there. For sure, there will be other times when a conflict will arise again and which will lead to nervous tensions between us. It is therefore better for all concerned that I should resign my position from the Suffolk FA board immediately so that applications for a replacement can go to Council as soon as possible.

This decision does not affect my involvement with Suffolk FA in regard my business sponsorship with the Referees academy or with my close involvement with Colin Hills relating to Referee course tutoring and the delivery of BRC’s and IST’s.

I wish the Chairman, CEO and my fellow directors well and much success in the future structure and development of football in the County and I am sure I can still be a part of that development process in some other form.

With very best wishes

Andy Wilding | Referee Tutor Coordinator, Suffolk FA

Tuesday 5th February 2013 

During a meeting of the clubs executive committee last evening (Monday 4th February 2013), the issue of The Suffolk Premier Cup expulsion was raised and discussed at length and the following statement has been released.

Statement

The club, while hugely disappointed with the decision taken by Suffolk County FA to expel Felixstowe & Walton United FC from the Suffolk Premier Cup, conclude there is nothing to be gained by continuing to discuss or dispute it. The Suffolk FA appeal was on the basis that the club would accept the decision of the hearing, whatever that may be.

The club therefore accept that decision and now wish to move on and would like to thank all those who have shown their support for the club over the last five days, it has been humbling to receive such support from so many people.

The club wish Ipswich Town success in the Semi-Final

End

Friday 1st February 2013 

Following a hearing at Bill Steward House this morning (Friday 1st February 2013) the club have been removed from The Suffolk Premier Cup by the governing body Suffolk FA. An appeal was lodged by the club against the original decision by Suffolk FA to remove the club for fielding an ineligible player (player under suspension).

Suffolk FA issued the following statement on their website this afternoon Friday 1st February 2013.

In line with the rules of the Suffolk County FA Cup Competitions, Felixstowe & Walton United FC have been removed from the 2012/13 Premier Cup and Ipswich Town FC have been reinstated to the competition.

Felixstowe & Walton United FC played an ineligible player in their match against Ipswich Town FC on the 8th January and have therefore forfeited the match.

Situations such as this highlight the need for clubs to maintain meticulous records of their players’ misconduct and to manage the disciplinary issues within their clubs very carefully.

It is the Suffolk FA’s responsibility to govern the grassroots game across Suffolk and enforce the rules accurately and consistently.

Statement ends.

Club Chairman Andy Wilding issued the following statement this afternoon Friday 1st February 2013.

Felixstowe & Walton United FC attended a hearing held at the offices of Suffolk FA this morning, (Friday 1st February) conducted by a partially independent FA commission relating to an appeal lodged by the football club against removal from The Suffolk FA Premier Cup competition.

The FA commission accepted that the football club had fair and reasonable mitigating circumstances but upheld that the rules of the competition in that “any club fielding an ineligible player shall forfeit the match” must stand. Felixstowe & Walton United FC are therefore removed from the competition and Ipswich Town FC reinstated.

In mitigation, the club eluded to a ‘misunderstanding’ relating to the suspension date of a player who was used in the Premier Cup fixture against Ipswich Town FC on 8th January, the football club believed that, in accordance with their records, the player received his 5th caution in the 26th December fixture against Woodbridge Town FC and that following that 5th caution, that player shall be suspended for one match AFTER the 16th January. On the 5th January the football club received written confirmation from Suffolk FA that, according to their records, the player received his 5th caution in the same match and that he must serve a one match suspension AFTER the 16th January.

However, when, during a telephone conversation with Suffolk FA on Monday 7th January that the football club had not received any caution confirmation from Suffolk FA for a caution for the same player on December 15th (which we believed to be his 4th caution), it was found that the referees report had only been received at Suffolk FA on 3rd January and they were therefore unaware themselves that our player had been cautioned on 15th December. This meant that according to Suffolk FA records, the 15th December caution was in fact the players 5th and that he should be suspended for one match from 5th January.

When asked what we should do about the 16th January confirmation, we were informed that as the referees report has only just been received, the club were advised in two separate telephone calls to two different individuals that we should leave things as they are!

 The player was therefore used as a substitute in the 8th January fixture against Ipswich Town. Three days after that game on the 8th January the football club received a notification (dated 10th January) that the player should be suspended from the 5th January.

A telephone call to the Suffolk FA on 11th January advised that we used the player in the 8th January Premier Cup fixture as per written and verbal conversation with Suffolk FA as to his elibility, to which the club were told they must forfeit the match. The football club believed and still do that the Suffolk FA implied during the 7th January telephone conversation, that as the 15th December caution had not been processed that we should leave the suspension date as 16th January. We therefore had no reason to suspect that using the player in the Premier Cup fixture would be an issue.

The partially independent FA commission concluded that whilst Suffolk FA should have been more diligent in their explanation during the 7th January telephone conversation, the football club should have been aware that the 15th December caution, although not received was the 5th caution and should therefore not have used the player in the 8th January fixture.

The Independent commission therefore dismissed the football club’s appeal.

Statement ends

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