Angry Doswell slams “pathetic” Conference
Paul Doswell has slammed the Football Conference for taking much-needed funds out of Sutton United’s coffers.
His frustration is aimed at a festive fixture schedule that leaves United making the hour-long trip to Wealdstone on Boxing Day, and the Stones making the reverse journey on New Year’s Day, rather than the derby against neighbours Bromley that was requested.
The outspoken boss has also claimed that the governing body’s initial leniency to crisis club Salisbury City will affect the balance sheet of every one of the 21 clubs left in the Skrill South.
He said: “The Conference asks all clubs who they want to play over the festive period and both Bromley and us requesting each other.
“Both games would have attracted 1,500 fans, which puts gives us a decent pay day.
“Instead, Bromley are playing Concord Rangers, who will bring a handful of fans, and we’re faced with the trip to Wealdstone.
“Fans come out for football on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, but they won’t if they have to travel miles.”
He added: “If you look at the other fixtures, for example Whitehawk [near Brighton] play Eastbourne and Havant play Gosport, just as they requested.
“The fact Bromley and Sutton United have been handed these fixtures is pathetic.”
Doswell is also fuming over the plight of Salisbury City, who face a winding up petition from the HMRC for an unpaid £29,000 tax bill.
They were also demoted from the Skrill Premier into the Skrill South, and then out of the Conference altogether for a failure to pay debts – but only after they were included in the official fixture list.
He said: “Because Salisbury have been kicked out, we’re only playing 40 games instead of 42, and that’s more money we’re losing.
“A home game brings in about £7,000, and that’s gone now.”
He added: “The Conference’s own rules say debts must be cleared by June 1, but Salisbury were demoted and given another deadline in July, which they missed and now they’ve been kicked out.
“I hate to see their demise, but they should have been kicked out in June and another club entered into the league.
“It makes me so angry because we struggle to make ends meet.
“We do everything by the book, but when other clubs don’t abide by the rules, it is the law-abiding clubs who suffer all the time.”
Meanwhile,1,738 fans filled the Lane last Saturday for the 0-0 draw with the Chelsea U21s.
Next up is this weekend’s visit of a Reading XI (kick- off 3pm), before a trip to AFC Wimbledon (Tuesday, 7.45pm) and the visit of a West Ham XI on Wednesday (kickoff 7.45pm).
Grand opening: Chelsea U21s’ visit marked the opening of the new Collingwood Road stand at Gander Green Lane