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Could be worse pt2


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It seems there's a whole bag of shit surrounding this. 

FW ask for dispensation to play 3 players registered after the play off eligibility date. League say no. FW then go back and say at least let us play the keeper we've just signed cos our regular one has just been called up by the Polish army and has had to go back home. League say you've got 4 keepers registered, play one of them. FW secretary says 4? Where the fuck have they come from? It seems the new manager may have been ghost signing players. Whether they've been 'paid' is maybe another matter. FW go back to the league and say we've only got one extra keeper and he's on duty with NATO. League notice that while all this is happening FW have deregistered a couple of the keepers so still say no.

Then we come to the pitch. League order a pitch inspection of Claggan Park and send an ex ref out on Saturday. Pitch is in a right state. Ref says roll it, cut the grass, and mark it out and I'll come back on Thursday. He turns up yesterday and nowts been done. 

FW fail to turn up for a league meeting this morning to discuss the pitch and players and inform the league they're withdrawing from the game.

FW still to release an official statement but are taking orders for next season's home shirts.

 

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Highland Pyramid Playoff Cancelled - SHFL Statement
 ‘The Highland League is extremely disappointed to have been informed by Fort William FC that the club is to withdraw from the Highland Football Pyramid playoff matches versus Banks o’Dee FC.

The League has been engaged in discussions with Fort William FC during the course of this week and these discussions have centred on two issues.

The first, and most significant, relates to player eligibility to take part in the playoffs.

Competition rules were published in July 2021 and state clearly that, to be eligible to take part in the playoffs, a player must be registered by the club by 31st January. In the case of Fort William FC, three of the twelve players who took part in the Breedon Highland League match at Rothes on Tuesday 19th April 2022 were therefore ineligible for the playoffs.

Central to this is the fact that the club’s first choice goalkeeper had returned home to Poland and his replacement was registered on 31st March 2022. This meant that the club felt it did not have enough goalkeepers for the playoffs as well as having few outfield players. So, on Wednesday 20th April 2022, it requested dispensation to play all three players in the playoffs.

Research by the League’s Secretariat uncovered the fact that Fort William FC had at that date 5 players registered who were described as goalkeepers. Consequently, the League’s Office Bearers declined dispensation for all three players and the club was informed accordingly.

During the course of Thursday and Friday, discussions continued and the club then submitted a second request for dispensation with regard to the goalkeeper signed on 31st March 2022. Research by the League’s Secretariat indicated that one of the goalkeepers had been deregistered but four remained on the books so the request for dispensation was denied.

Subsequent discussions with the manager led to the conclusion that club personnel were unaware of the existence of one of the two remaining goalkeepers. The Secretary suggested that this needed checking out. The League was then informed that it appears that this person was unknown to club management and is a member of the armed forces currently away on duty. This had not been included in the second request for dispensation.

The second issue relates to the condition of Claggan Park. It had been decided that, given the events of the season, a pitch and ground inspection should take place to confirm it as a venue for the second leg of the playoffs. That inspection was carried out by a representative of the League who is also a retired referee on the morning of Friday 22nd April and raised some concerns. The Club was informed of these concerns and advised of a way ahead. It was recommended that the club roll the pitch, cut the grass and line it as if for a match, and a further inspection would be undertaken on Tuesday 26th April and all concerned were optimistic about a positive outcome. In discussions, it was apparent that the club was reluctant to accept that advice.

Discussions continued throughout Friday and were effectively closed by Fort William FC when it decided to withdraw from the playoffs.’

Statement ends
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Fort William's reply

We are very disappointed that the Highland League has released a statement ahead of a proposed meeting. "The released statement has many untruths in it, which will become clear over time. Because of this statement we will refrain from updates until the SFA and other relevant people have been consulted. The club is financially stable and ready for next season. Shadab and the squad are bitterly disappointed not to be playing tomorrow.

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According to a lot of their more vocal fans they reckon the outgoing league chairman has a personal vendetta against FW. 

He's the one that's vetoing the keeper situation. The league rules state that teams must travel with two recognised keepers but they've only got one left if they weren't allowed to play the lad signed in March so they'd be banned from playing the fixture if they'd turned up to play today. 

Chairman is also the one that brought in the relegation clause for this season even though there wasn't a majority vote in favour of it. 

It's also the chairman that deemed Claggan Park unplayable for the whole season. Admittedly it was heavily vandalised at the start but since Christmas the league below have deemed it playable and their refs say there's nothing wrong with it. The Highland League ref who turned up last Saturday to inspect it was supposed to turn up next Tuesday to see if the work had been done but rocked up last Thursday instead and submitted his 'nothing been done' report. It's being played on today. 

It's going to get legal and FW fans are crowdfunding to take it to the court of session, whatever that is. 

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Mr Tylluan - the Court of Session is a civil court in Scotland.

Think the biggest problem for Fort William is its geographical location. Not exactly 'highland' in comparison to the other teams in the league. The powers that be would love to get rid of them.

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4 hours ago, EastCraigsOwl said:

Mr Tylluan - the Court of Session is a civil court in Scotland.

Think the biggest problem for Fort William is its geographical location. Not exactly 'highland' in comparison to the other teams in the league. The powers that be would love to get rid of them.

Thanks for the explanation on the court.

Think Fort William's problem is it's location full stop. What happens if they finish top of the lower league next season? There's a thinking that the Highland League will change the ground criteria for the 23/24 season to stop them coming back up

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5 hours ago, EastCraigsOwl said:

Mr Tylluan - the Court of Session is a civil court in Scotland.

Think the biggest problem for Fort William is its geographical location. Not exactly 'highland' in comparison to the other teams in the league. The powers that be would love to get rid of them.

Wouldn't say Brechin or banks o dee are Highland either.

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Let me get this straight. 

They are trying to stop a Scottish team from playing in the Scottish leagues. 

But...

They keep on about how Scottish teams should be able to be playing in the English league and that is okay.

 

🤪 🤔 

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10 hours ago, MAL said:

Let me get this straight. 

They are trying to stop a Scottish team from playing in the Scottish leagues. 

But...

They keep on about how Scottish teams should be able to be playing in the English league and that is okay.

 

🤪 🤔 

The Highland League don't want them due to the geographical location. The equivalent Lowland League don't want them for the same reasons (but they're quite happy to have Celtic and Rangers u21s) so that effectively puts Fort William out of the pyramid system which is why it's going to the SFA and could get legal. 

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22 hours ago, EastCraigsOwl said:

Mr Tylluan - the Court of Session is a civil court in Scotland.

Think the biggest problem for Fort William is its geographical location. Not exactly 'highland' in comparison to the other teams in the league. The powers that be would love to get rid of them.

How exactly is Ft. William not Highland.  It's the capital of the West Highlands. The fort itself was built by the then government to help subdue the highlanders. The club's ground is located very close to the foothills of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the land.            Is it better to say that most of the other clubs are not as highland? Whilst some of them ARE, they're in the Grampians - east of the Cairngorms - the rest are generally on or near the east coast or in the far north: beyond Inverness.   

Put simply they want to make it a league for those set around the A9 or east of it. They don't want to travel right out to the west coast so they (or he) have come up with a way of killing them by forcing them to play every game in the north or east, which at the same time means none of the north / east clubs has to travel west.

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20 hours ago, Sheffieldblue said:

Wouldn't say Brechin or banks o dee are Highland either.

As you'll no doubt be aware, Brechin applied to join the Lowland League when they were relegated from Scottish League Two last season, so they probably agree!

Banks o Dee have only just been promoted and are, obviously, further north than Brechin so much more local to the other sides than Fort William for example.

3 hours ago, Owling_Wolf said:

How exactly is Ft. William not Highland.  It's the capital of the West Highlands. The fort itself was built by the then government to help subdue the highlanders. The club's ground is located very close to the foothills of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the land.            Is it better to say that most of the other clubs are not as highland? Whilst some of them ARE, they're in the Grampians - east of the Cairngorms - the rest are generally on or near the east coast or in the far north: beyond Inverness.   

Put simply they want to make it a league for those set around the A9 or east of it. They don't want to travel right out to the west coast so they (or he) have come up with a way of killing them by forcing them to play every game in the north or east, which at the same time means none of the north / east clubs has to travel west.

I fully accept what you're saying, and it's probably described the situation to a tee. In effect, they want an East of Scotland Highland League. I think there may also be part of it to do with FW having been garbage for quite a while now. It doesn't do anything for the competition. A bit like when East Stirling had a nasty habit of finishing adrift in the bottom tier. The Scottish league introduced play offs because they knew they'd be gone soon thereafter.

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1 hour ago, EastCraigsOwl said:

As you'll no doubt be aware, Brechin applied to join the Lowland League when they were relegated from Scottish League Two last season, so they probably agree!

Banks o Dee have only just been promoted and are, obviously, further north than Brechin so much more local to the other sides than Fort William for example.

I fully accept what you're saying, and it's probably described the situation to a tee. In effect, they want an East of Scotland Highland League. I think there may also be part of it to do with FW having been garbage for quite a while now. It doesn't do anything for the competition. A bit like when East Stirling had a nasty habit of finishing adrift in the bottom tier. The Scottish league introduced play offs because they knew they'd be gone soon thereafter.

If that's the actual case, what a sad situation that is.  

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Update.

The club has chosen not to make a public comment before now regarding the situation surrounding our withdrawal from the playoff games due to the fact that discussions were ongoing with the Highland League Management Committee and the SFA, however after talks broke down at a meeting of the LMC with Directors of Fort William FC on Thursday evening we would like to make a number of things clear.

Firstly, as many people are aware, Fort William’s pitch at Claggan Park was deemed unplayable by an unqualified person (contrary to LMC rules) at the beginning of the 2021-22 season. The decision was made by the LMC to make Fort William play their games away from home. 

Substantial work was completed and the pitch was deemed fit to play games in September by a registered SFA referee, however the LMC decided to uphold their decision to make Fort William play away from home. This was not based on the quality of the park, but on their belief and assumptions about other factors relating to the club.

In the week leading up to the playoff games the club contacted the LMC with requests regarding player dispensations due to our desire to fulfill the fixtures and our understanding of the Highland League rules regarding goalkeepers. Up until 3.30pm on the day before the game, the LMC were unaware of their own rule regarding keepers and were wrongly advising the club. We were fully aware of the rules and as such did not want to enter into the fixture and be penalised should their mistake be found out.

We had a squad ready to play, we understood the rules, our paperwork was all in order.

The LMC decided that a pitch inspection was required at Claggan Park the day before the first leg. An unqualified person (contrary to the LMC rules) inspected the pitch and declared the game should be moved. At no point were the club advised to roll and line the park prior to this visit.

Fort William FC have been in talks with the SFA during the past 2 weeks regarding the matters and the issues raised have been escalated.

We hope that a resolution can be found by all parties involved.

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