Like many of you I was absolutely devasted that our trip to Guernsey turned into a disaster not only for the team but also those fans who had spent a considerable sum of money in travelling to the island to support our team.
I have now investigated fully the circumstances leading up to the game being called off. In short, the reason was the fact that the appointed officials were unable to travel when it became apparent that it would not be possible to return on Saturday night, and there was no guarantee that other officials would be available even if the team had travelled.
I do not blame the officials themselves, and I must thank Guernsey FC and its management for all the effort they put in to try to resolve the problem. I must also point out that this was never in the hands of the Isthmian League (of which I am a Director), because the responsibility for appointing officials rests solely with the FA. In my view, the FA should have ensured that the appointed officials could stay overnight, because there will always be a possibility of games being delayed for any number of reasons which might result in the return flight being missed. I shall be asking the League to make the strongest possible representations to the FA to see that proper consideration is given to these issues in the appointing process in future.
That I know will be scant comfort to the travelling supporters who can justifiably feel let down, but I know that everything that could have been done to avoid the postponement was done by our management. Nobody wanted to go to Guernsey for a midweek fixture replay.
I am speaking to my fellow Directors to see what the club can do for those who travelled, but as I’m sure you will appreciate this can be little more than a gesture as our financial standing has been very badly hit with the several postponements we have suffered.
I am extremely proud that our club has the loyal support that has been demonstrated over the past season, so I feel doubly disappointed at what transpired. I do hope you will understand that it was never in the club’s control, and that you will continue to give us the vocal support that players and management so appreciate.