Needham Market: FA Trophy tie ‘unreasonable’ as players ‘have to take leave’


The surface at Weymouth’s Wessex Stadium was deemed unplayable by the referee

Every summer, people take annual leave to holiday in the Dorset seaside town of Weymouth.

It’s a pleasant spot for a vacation. There’s a nice beach, a quaint harbour.

But paying two visits in the space of four days in December was too big an ask for the players of Needham Market FC.

The Suffolk club made the 464-mile round trip on Saturday, for an FA Trophy tie game which was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

It was rearranged for Tuesday, but with their players requiring two days off work, the club decided instead to pull out of the competition.

“We consider that it is completely unreasonable,” the Marketmen statement said in a statement.

“Our players and staff had to take a half day’s leave from their employment on Friday, 14 December to travel down to Weymouth.

“For us to request that our players and staff take a further one and a half or two days leave on Tuesday and Wednesday (18-19 December) in the week preceding Christmas is considered unfair on them and their employers.”

As a result of their decision, Weymouth progress to round two.

A Football Association spokesperson said: “We understand the challenges that a postponed match can have.

“However, for fairness to all clubs in the competition and to prevent causing disruption to other competitions, we must ensure that rearranged matches are scheduled within the rules of the competition.

“In this case, the rearranged match was scheduled to be played on Tuesday 18 December. Subsequently, Needham Market FC decided they could not fulfil this fixture and therefore chose to withdraw from the competition. “

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