A ROW has broken out between a football league and one of its junior teams — after exam revision classes threatened to ruin Westhoughton Rangers’ title challenge.
Rangers’ under-16s feared they would be unable to put out a full team to play a league decider and a cup final last week, as several of their players were told they needed to concentrate on their studies.
But after the Bolton Bury & District Football League (BBDFL) refused to reschedule the game, teachers relented and changed the time of the revision sessions.
The team went on to win the league and the cup — but its row with BBDFL has led to officials telling Rangers they can leave the league if they are not happy with the way it is run.
Warren Barlow, chairman of the BBDFL, said: “We would all like to put on record our view that if Westhoughton Rangers feel this strongly about the BBDFL, please do not enter any teams in this league next season.
“If Westhoughton think we are a disgrace, they are welcome to leave and we will assist them in moving on.
“They are not being kicked out of the league, but I would expect an apology for their comments.
“If they don’t want to play in this league, there are other leagues in Bury, Wigan and Lancashire.
“Whatever happens, I hope we can all move on from this and put it to bed.”
Rangers manager Mark Hester said: “It’s a bit of a shame it has come to this, but I wouldn’t take back anything I’ve said or done.
“Hopefully, we can talk this over like grown men because, at the end of the day, it’s the kids it affects more than anyone.
“I think this whole thing has been blown out of proportion and I want it to be resolved as quickly as possible.”
Mr Hester said he would hold talks with the BBDFL and that he hoped to have the matter resolved within a couple of weeks.