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Manager ‘shocked’ as club is forced to withdraw from FA Trophy

Chesterfield manager James Rowe says that he is left ‘shocked’ as the National League club is forced to withdraw from the FA Trophy.

The Spireites have withdrawn from this season’s competition after one of their players tested positive for Covid, which caused last Saturday’s fifth round fixture against Aldershot Town to be postponed.

FA rules state that a rescheduled match must take place within five days of the original tie. However, that is not possible with the team now isolating for 10 days.

Chesterfield explored the possibility of fielding an under-19 team before a decision was made to forfeit the tie because the youth players have not been training for the last two months due to the pandemic.

Manager Rowe tweeted on having to withdraw from the FA Trophy: “The health & well-being of everyone is of far greater importance than any football game or competition. Despite our staff and I upholding the utmost integrity, I am shocked at what has been forced upon us since Saturday night. I wish @OfficialShots the very best for the next round.”

A Spireite spokesman added: “We are very disappointed that we have been forced to take the decision to withdraw from the competition.

“We feel that we were forced into a corner and were left with no option other than to give up the chance of progressing in the competition and we have made our feelings known to the FA.

“Fielding an under-19 team would not have been the correct option for the development of those players, considering they haven’t been training in the last two months due to the pandemic.

“Ultimately, while we are very disappointed with the outcome, the safety of everyone is of paramount importance.”

The draw for the FA Trophy Quarter Final was made earlier on Monday at around 1:30pm, and it included Chesterfield, especially after the presenter for the draw got abuse for not stating them. Find out who got who by clicking HERE.

The nation was left shocked within the last week after discovering that NHS staff have been receiving threatening phone calls from members of the public after vaccinating Chesterfield players, according to reports.

It’s understood that three players and three members of staff at the National League club received vaccinations at short notice last week at the Stubley Medical Centre based in Dronfield, who have already vaccinated over 12,000 patients.

The vaccine is currently being rolled out only to the most vulnerable, now the NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have now opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this.

The vaccine is currently being rolled out only to the most vulnerable, now the NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have now opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this.

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The CCG said in a statement released to the PA news agency: “It is unacceptable to jump the queue ahead of people most at risk of Covid-19 and the NHS guidance is clear that local vaccination services must manage their appointment lists to ensure all appointments are filled and they have a back-up list of high-risk people in Joint Committee on Vaccination and Drug Immunisation priority groups 1-4 (those aged 70 and over or who are clinically extremely vulnerable) who can receive the vaccine at short notice.”

Top of that “standby” list are health professionals and care workers but Chesterfield is “on the bottom of that list” for vaccines that would be chucked away.

The club say that some of the six were at one point classed as vulnerable and that they were told by the surgery that they tried everything else they can, leaving them no choice but to have the vaccine which would have been wasted if they had not had the jabs.

It is understood the call to the club was made after discussions were in place over offering their stadium facilities as a vaccination centre. The club have been told their staff could be put on a ‘standby list’ for a call if the surgery was unable to find anyone else willing to take up the appointments at short notice.

A statement from the National League club read: “A small number of Chesterfield players and staff – most of whom are classed as vulnerable people – have received the Covid-19 vaccine.

“In line with the NHS’ directive – that doctors and staff have the discretion to ensure that they can make full use of any unused vaccines, rather than have any go to waste – the people concerned were called at very short notice to receive the vaccine.

“They were only contacted after the surgery had exhausted all other viable options. Those involved were keen that these vaccines were not wasted, which would have been the case had they not received them.

“We continue to support the NHS’s brilliant work and have provided Covid-19 testing facilities at our stadium throughout the pandemic, so vital care can be administered.”

Fans reacted after seeing that the manager was ‘shocked’ as the club is forced to withdraw from the FA Trophy…

@CfcCrookes: I hate the way this organisation is. Be better when we are back in the EFL 🙂

@PeaksJimmy: That’s a kick in the teeth. Chin up though James. We’ll be gracing the Wembley turf sooner than later. Playoff final anyone?!

@adyady14: The cup games at this level should have been postponed for the season anyway. FA Cup being the only exception.

@stelow3: Sums up the powers running our league and the competition. Extreme circumstances and no flexibility

@Loizeus: Nvm, just a competition we’ll never play in again

@Sifdog88: So we were forced out due to a global pandemic? Jesus..

@Dean17Metcalfe: Very disappointing, why put us in the draw when it was already decided we weren’t in it, becoming increasingly difficult to see the season finishing

@eddie_snail: You weren’t really given much choice. Hope the FA and the trophy’s sponsors appreciate that their intransigence on the 5 day rule under these circumstances de-values the competition as clubs are forced out of it prematurely.

@timchambers321: As a small boy I often dreamed of seeing us lift the FA Trophy at a closed Wembley Stadium. It’s cruelly been denied from me.

@SheridanRobins: I do not understand why the FA Trophy went ahead.

@ojmooney: So gutting ☹️ time to concentrate on the league

@SpireitesPolice: Not sure how they could do anything else with the 5 day rule which doesn’t work under covid

@StuartWiddowson: If they had any integrity at all, they would have extended the 5 day rule for Covid but, as I said, if they had any integrity, which they don’t #TinPot

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