Westhoughton Rangers could be forced to field 7 players after BBDFL league bosses refuse to reschedule in GCSE revision clash

Junior football team could be forced to field 7 players in big match after league bosses refuse to reschedule

Junior football team could be forced to field 7 players in big match after league bosses refuse to reschedule

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , reporter

A JUNIOR football club in Westhoughton may be forced to concede a play-off final — after league bosses refused to reschedule the match due to a clash with GCSE revision classes.

Westhoughton Rangers finished tied at the top of their under-16s league with Boothstown FC after a 22-game season, with a decider set to take place tonight.

Unless the Bolton Bury & District Football League (BBDFL) changes its mind, though, Rangers will be able to field only seven fit players, as several players will be attending compulsory revision classes.

The team’s manager, Mark Hester, said he was “disgusted” at how the league had treated the boys, after their hard work throughout the season.

Westhoughton High School’s headteacher has requested that the school’s players are not involved in the match, with six or seven of the team attending the school.

Chorley-based Southlands High School, where two Rangers players are educated, has also sent the club a letter asking for pupils not to play in the play-off final.

BBDFL’s chairman, Warren Barlow, said Rangers had been offered several dates for the final and their “excuses” were a sad reflection on the club.

Rangers are also competing in a cup final on Sunday, less than 48 hours after the scheduled play-off final.

Mr Hester said: “We feel utterly disgusted at how a charter standard league has treated our children.

“The lads are absolutely distraught. I think it’s a disgrace to us really. They just will not budge on the matter.”

The club argues the players were unable to fulfil a midweek date offered to them because of GCSE exams, with revision classes now preventing them from playing tonight.

Mr Hester added that the league initially told them the play-off match could not take place after the May 18 cup final because of their insurance coverage, but claimed the league backtracked and said it was so their end-of-season awards would not be affected.

Mr Barlow said: “All the play-off matches have been played this week and no other teams have had any issues.

"The main reason they want to postpone it is because they have a cup final on Sunday. Teams are too focused on winning. It is the bane of grassroots football.”

It is understood Boothstown would be able to play the fixture, and therefore win the league by forfeit, if the match is not rescheduled.

Comments (10)

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10:35am Fri 16 May 14

Rememberscarborough says...

Too much football? Nice to see the kid's education coming first though...
Too much football? Nice to see the kid's education coming first though... Rememberscarborough
  • Score: 0

10:42am Fri 16 May 14

Beyond News Forum says...

Rememberscarborough wrote:
Too much football? Nice to see the kid's education coming first though...
I thought that education and sport was going hand in hand these days. Fitness and education. A one off is not much to ask for.
[quote][p][bold]Rememberscarborough[/bold] wrote: Too much football? Nice to see the kid's education coming first though...[/p][/quote]I thought that education and sport was going hand in hand these days. Fitness and education. A one off is not much to ask for. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: -2

11:37am Fri 16 May 14

builderjim says...

Westhoughton have been changes fixtures whenever they have pleased all season so what goes around comes around.
Westhoughton have been changes fixtures whenever they have pleased all season so what goes around comes around. builderjim
  • Score: -2

11:38am Fri 16 May 14

bwfc0210 says...

If it's not about the winning, why have a play off. Share the title.
If it's not about the winning, why have a play off. Share the title. bwfc0210
  • Score: 7

1:02pm Fri 16 May 14

spc123 says...

Maybe they should do it on goal difference or results against each other - Would that mean still a playoff or would one of the teams won it that way?
Maybe they should do it on goal difference or results against each other - Would that mean still a playoff or would one of the teams won it that way? spc123
  • Score: 8

2:22pm Fri 16 May 14

GroundsKeeper Willy says...

Is it not just the case of a team who've managed to break the top rung of their league actually wanting to prepare properly and play something fairly for the reward, rather than gifting it to the opposition, after working so hard to get there ?

In my opinion Mr. Barlow's rebuttal of the situation, for a person of such high standing in his assocation is most undiplomatic and disrespectful to an affiliate club under his responsibility.

Does the LFA rule book sate somewhere that school activities always take precedence over junior football? i.e. exams...?

If Mr Barlow's quotes are to be accurate then my interpretation from them is someone displaying characteristics of uncaring, unsympathetic and insulting to a club basically made up of children and volunteers.

The facts are not to hand but I would stake that most semi pro adult clubs and maybe a minority of Prem sides dont even play 2 games within 48 hours of each other, let alone them be 2 important back to back cup matches.

Some teams have undergone a manic last 3 weeks of their season trying to cram 7 fixtures in before their season closes, or they forfeit their points. Do you try your best to acheive your goals or give up?

After pursuing their dream to finish the whole of their junior football career on a high their memories of such achievements may now be tainted with the bitterness of what befalls them.

If Mr Barlow suggests too much focus is placed on winning these things is he signifying that teams should just give up their passion when things come too intensive or to a stalemate.? If that is his philosophy what is the point of cup finals ?

For a chairman in a league association to hold a public stance such as the one illustrated, I would have expected a lot more diplomacy and tact in his statements In regards of relationships with the people, players and affiliates of his organisation, that are mostly volunteers he should observe more RESPECT - something the FA promotes as their core belief....
Is it not just the case of a team who've managed to break the top rung of their league actually wanting to prepare properly and play something fairly for the reward, rather than gifting it to the opposition, after working so hard to get there ? In my opinion Mr. Barlow's rebuttal of the situation, for a person of such high standing in his assocation is most undiplomatic and disrespectful to an affiliate club under his responsibility. Does the LFA rule book sate somewhere that school activities always take precedence over junior football? i.e. exams...? If Mr Barlow's quotes are to be accurate then my interpretation from them is someone displaying characteristics of uncaring, unsympathetic and insulting to a club basically made up of children and volunteers. The facts are not to hand but I would stake that most semi pro adult clubs and maybe a minority of Prem sides dont even play 2 games within 48 hours of each other, let alone them be 2 important back to back cup matches. Some teams have undergone a manic last 3 weeks of their season trying to cram 7 fixtures in before their season closes, or they forfeit their points. Do you try your best to acheive your goals or give up? After pursuing their dream to finish the whole of their junior football career on a high their memories of such achievements may now be tainted with the bitterness of what befalls them. If Mr Barlow suggests too much focus is placed on winning these things is he signifying that teams should just give up their passion when things come too intensive or to a stalemate.? If that is his philosophy what is the point of cup finals ? For a chairman in a league association to hold a public stance such as the one illustrated, I would have expected a lot more diplomacy and tact in his statements In regards of relationships with the people, players and affiliates of his organisation, that are mostly volunteers he should observe more RESPECT - something the FA promotes as their core belief.... GroundsKeeper Willy
  • Score: 2

2:46pm Fri 16 May 14

FootballHooligan says...

builderjim wrote:
Westhoughton have been changes fixtures whenever they have pleased all season so what goes around comes around.
You obviously have no idea what you're talking about
[quote][p][bold]builderjim[/bold] wrote: Westhoughton have been changes fixtures whenever they have pleased all season so what goes around comes around.[/p][/quote]You obviously have no idea what you're talking about FootballHooligan
  • Score: 4

3:02pm Fri 16 May 14

regvuk says...

GroundsKeeper Willy wrote:
Is it not just the case of a team who've managed to break the top rung of their league actually wanting to prepare properly and play something fairly for the reward, rather than gifting it to the opposition, after working so hard to get there ?

In my opinion Mr. Barlow's rebuttal of the situation, for a person of such high standing in his assocation is most undiplomatic and disrespectful to an affiliate club under his responsibility.

Does the LFA rule book sate somewhere that school activities always take precedence over junior football? i.e. exams...?

If Mr Barlow's quotes are to be accurate then my interpretation from them is someone displaying characteristics of uncaring, unsympathetic and insulting to a club basically made up of children and volunteers.

The facts are not to hand but I would stake that most semi pro adult clubs and maybe a minority of Prem sides dont even play 2 games within 48 hours of each other, let alone them be 2 important back to back cup matches.

Some teams have undergone a manic last 3 weeks of their season trying to cram 7 fixtures in before their season closes, or they forfeit their points. Do you try your best to acheive your goals or give up?

After pursuing their dream to finish the whole of their junior football career on a high their memories of such achievements may now be tainted with the bitterness of what befalls them.

If Mr Barlow suggests too much focus is placed on winning these things is he signifying that teams should just give up their passion when things come too intensive or to a stalemate.? If that is his philosophy what is the point of cup finals ?

For a chairman in a league association to hold a public stance such as the one illustrated, I would have expected a lot more diplomacy and tact in his statements In regards of relationships with the people, players and affiliates of his organisation, that are mostly volunteers he should observe more RESPECT - something the FA promotes as their core belief....
RESPECT, isn't that Westhoughton should have had, rather than report it to the press and make it a Them vs US scenario.

Lets not forget that all the people who are involved in running this league are all volunteers and give up a lot of their spare time.
[quote][p][bold]GroundsKeeper Willy[/bold] wrote: Is it not just the case of a team who've managed to break the top rung of their league actually wanting to prepare properly and play something fairly for the reward, rather than gifting it to the opposition, after working so hard to get there ? In my opinion Mr. Barlow's rebuttal of the situation, for a person of such high standing in his assocation is most undiplomatic and disrespectful to an affiliate club under his responsibility. Does the LFA rule book sate somewhere that school activities always take precedence over junior football? i.e. exams...? If Mr Barlow's quotes are to be accurate then my interpretation from them is someone displaying characteristics of uncaring, unsympathetic and insulting to a club basically made up of children and volunteers. The facts are not to hand but I would stake that most semi pro adult clubs and maybe a minority of Prem sides dont even play 2 games within 48 hours of each other, let alone them be 2 important back to back cup matches. Some teams have undergone a manic last 3 weeks of their season trying to cram 7 fixtures in before their season closes, or they forfeit their points. Do you try your best to acheive your goals or give up? After pursuing their dream to finish the whole of their junior football career on a high their memories of such achievements may now be tainted with the bitterness of what befalls them. If Mr Barlow suggests too much focus is placed on winning these things is he signifying that teams should just give up their passion when things come too intensive or to a stalemate.? If that is his philosophy what is the point of cup finals ? For a chairman in a league association to hold a public stance such as the one illustrated, I would have expected a lot more diplomacy and tact in his statements In regards of relationships with the people, players and affiliates of his organisation, that are mostly volunteers he should observe more RESPECT - something the FA promotes as their core belief....[/p][/quote]RESPECT, isn't that Westhoughton should have had, rather than report it to the press and make it a Them vs US scenario. Lets not forget that all the people who are involved in running this league are all volunteers and give up a lot of their spare time. regvuk
  • Score: 2

4:05pm Fri 16 May 14

bwfc0210 says...

Lets forget about the Sunday final, if just the play off game, they say they can't get a team because of compulsory attendance at revision sessions. Surely something can be done to accommodate this match? Opponents presumably ok cos they havet got same pressure from their schools?
Regvuk, let's not forget the team's are run by volunteers too.
A lot of these players may also stop playing after this season too as westhoughton don't offer football for older ages, what a shame it finishes this way.
Perhaps soembody from westhoughton could confirm they would gladly play both games if they didn't have these classes to attend.
Finally it's a shame it's had to get in the press.
Lets forget about the Sunday final, if just the play off game, they say they can't get a team because of compulsory attendance at revision sessions. Surely something can be done to accommodate this match? Opponents presumably ok cos they havet got same pressure from their schools? Regvuk, let's not forget the team's are run by volunteers too. A lot of these players may also stop playing after this season too as westhoughton don't offer football for older ages, what a shame it finishes this way. Perhaps soembody from westhoughton could confirm they would gladly play both games if they didn't have these classes to attend. Finally it's a shame it's had to get in the press. bwfc0210
  • Score: 4

4:06pm Fri 16 May 14

DogLover66 says...

Classic example of Adults spoiling it for kids... a lot of egos involved here and who is suffering? the kids.

Leagues are quick to quote and criticise about teams and kids 'wanting to win' why then have cup finals and league tables and give out trophies and presentations if winning isn't important?

How have the league and club allowed this situation to occur? The response and quotes from the league chairman (assuming they are accurate) are deplorable and show no empathy for the children and typical of an overly officious league official.

This reflects very poorly on the league which seems to have lost one of its purposes from what it originally intended: to provide a fair competition for children to enjoy. This situation certainly doesn't seem fair and obviously the children won't enjoy it. Of course, everyone at the league and club are volunteers, but that is largely irrelevent when kids enjoyment is involved.
Classic example of Adults spoiling it for kids... a lot of egos involved here and who is suffering? the kids. Leagues are quick to quote and criticise about teams and kids 'wanting to win' why then have cup finals and league tables and give out trophies and presentations if winning isn't important? How have the league and club allowed this situation to occur? The response and quotes from the league chairman (assuming they are accurate) are deplorable and show no empathy for the children and typical of an overly officious league official. This reflects very poorly on the league which seems to have lost one of its purposes from what it originally intended: to provide a fair competition for children to enjoy. This situation certainly doesn't seem fair and obviously the children won't enjoy it. Of course, everyone at the league and club are volunteers, but that is largely irrelevent when kids enjoyment is involved. DogLover66
  • Score: 3

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