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Club Statement: Berks & Bucks FA Senior Cup

A Club Statement regarding the Berks & Bucks FA Senior Cup.

13/04/19


Slough Town Football Club would like to clarify its position in respect of the Berks & Bucks FA Senior Cup and the subsequent recent appeal investigation.

The club lodged an appeal with the Berks & Bucks FA on Thursday 28th March after our 1-0 semi-final defeat, regarding the eligibility of two players from Marlow FC. Following this semi-final match it was brought to the club’s attention that two Marlow players had played in previous Senior County Cup tournaments this season.

The club went into the Marlow semi-final match missing 4 players who were cup-tied, 3 of which were unavailable because they had played in other County FA tournaments, and one who played in the Berks & Bucks competition for another club.

When putting team news on the club’s official website and via social media, we cited the competition rules and highlighted the difficult position it put the club in to submit a squad for the game, leaving the club with 13 eligible players. The club therefore took the decision to register joint managers Neil Baker and Jon Underwood, and on the night Jon Underwood and goalkeeping coach Trent Phillips were named on the bench.

Whilst a frustrating competition rule for the club and everyone in the competition, the club had to abide by the competition rules and did so when naming a squad for the semi-final.

Since the Berks & Bucks FA announced their appeal decision, there has been speculation that Slough Town should not be in the Senior Cup final, as the club had played Matty Stevens, who was a contracted player with Peterborough United, in the second round match against Chalfont St Peter.

Under definitions on page 1 of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup rules, the definition of ‘contract players’ states any player (other than a player on a scholarship) who is eligible to play under a written contract of employment with a club.

The rule of 9b is ‘contract’ players are not permitted to play in this competition, with the exception of those players who are registered under contract with the same club who have a team operating at steps 1-6 of the National League system.

As Matty Stevens was still on a scholarship/academy contract and had signed for the club on a youth loan which is stipulated in our contract and IM1 form, by our understanding he is not classed as being a ‘contract’ player by the Berks & Bucks FA definitions and was therefore eligible to play.

Slough Town FC would like to clearly state that we have tried to abide by the competition rules and believe we have done so, and obviously if we had been/were found to be in breach of the rules, as a club we would withdraw from the competition.

We will now await further news from the Berks & Bucks FA and will be making no further comment.

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