One particular non league club have decided to make a sudden U-turn on a Boxing Day friendly after criticism from fans on social media.
Earlier this week, Halesowen Town announced that they would take on Redditch United in a mid-season friendly, despite postponing league matches initially set to take place in the Christmas period because of the pandemic.
The Southern League outfit, based in the West Midlands, said in a now deleted tweet: “We will travel to @RedditchUtd for a friendly game on Boxing day, this is a ticket only game with fans from tiers 1 & 2 able to attend. Kick off at 12pm.”
Understandably, this hasn’t exactly gone down well on social media with fans taking to slam the non league club as they set up the Boxing Day friendly with no league football taking place.
Of course most of the club’s fans are based in Halesowen, but they can’t attend as they are in tier 3, however those that live in tier 2 and 1 areas can go to the game.
But with the leagues halted for now, some are questioning why play the fixtures, why the need for a pointless friendly on Boxing Day.
However on the 22nd of December, the club wrote in a statement: Apologies for the short notice given HMG announcement on Saturday, we have been reviewing our position on playing friendlies. Our responsibily first and foremost is for player safety, therefore we have taken the decision to cancel the friendlies this evening at Rushall and Redditch on boxing day. We will review again following the next HMG announcement on the 30 December 2020.
We wish everyone a safe, peaceful and a Happy Christmas from all at Halesowen Town Football Club
– STATEMENT ENDS –
THE SOUTHERN LEAGUE STATEMENT
As indicated previously the Southern League Board has met following the latest Government review and they have unanimously agreed to continue with the pause of the 2020/21 season.
Since the initial survey on the 2nd December the infection rate has deteriorated in the geographical footprint of our Member Clubs, which has resulted in a larger number of Southern League Clubs being placed in Tier 3. In reaching this decision the Board considered several factors such as the lack of income from secondary spend revenue, the reduced attendances at Tier 3 clubs and more importantly, the duty of care the league has to Players, Club Officials, Volunteers and Supporters during this current pandemic.
The Board will continue to monitor the situation in line with the Government review dates and/or any decision that allows Government grants to become available to member clubs. The Board has not yet set a formal re-start date but this is unlikely to be before the 9th January 2021 and the Clubs will be given at least 10 days’ notice of the recommencement of the 2020/21 season allowing them preparation time to stage League matches.
It is also noted that the Isthmian League are taking a similar approach with their Member Clubs.
– STATEMENT ENDS –
Once again, fans reacted after the the non league club make a sudden U-turn on an upcoming Boxing Day friendly…
@Gio_Dainty: throwing dummy out and getting what he wants again @jsmith6792
@KingfishersNee1: Like anything these days at all levels of life, politics and sport, plans get made, a few people kick off on Twitter from their sofas and plans get cancelled. Frightening. Good luck for the rest of the season (if it ever kicks back off) from a Reds fan.
@Spag68: I think i’m going a bit Dire Straits – I want my – I want my – I want my @Yeltz_TV
@MorganNick13: I think this is a very sensible decision by the clubs.
@RichieZuLuBatch: Arses gone
@dale_villain: Have to say I agree and think this is the right call. I don’t agree with all the restrictions but in the current climate and after Bojo’s message it would have been insensitive to play. Also more so of the fact can’t see us playing again any time soon so just seemed pointless.
@JoshYeltz1873: Pandering to snowflakes! *sigh*
@Spag68: Taking everything into account & frustrating as it is, the club needs to be seen to do the right thing, so lets be patient & hope we can some normality back soon.
@JoshYeltz1873: Sad news. The club can’t do right for doing wrong.
@garysetchell: In other news the plank that organised this has been fired