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Spencer Day: Salisbury fixture farce could cost Boro £10,000

Farnborough boss angered over Conference decision for a festive double against cash-strapped Salisbury City

Spencer Day

Spencer Day believes the shock decision by Conference chiefs to pair Farnborough with stricken Salisbury City for prime fixtures over Christmas and New Year could cost the cash-strapped club in the region of £10,000.

The fixture list for the new Conference South season handed Boro a Boxing Day trip to the Raymond McEnhill Stadium with the Whites, demoted into the South division for non-payment of debts, visiting Cherrywood Road on New Years Day.

But on the very same day of release, last Friday, Salisbury were expelled from the Conference altogether after failing to meet their deadlines to pay off creditors, leaving Farnborough without a prime home fixture over the holiday period and with just one home game in which to earn much-needed revenue in a crucial seven-week mid-season period.

Management and supporters have reacted angrily to the news especially given that Basingstoke Town – Boro’s traditional Christmas opponents but the closest club to Salisbury – have been paired with Staines Town despite being 12 miles further apart.

More Farnborough FC 2014/15 fixture coverage:
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Disgruntled Day said: “I'm purely the manager and as a manager I’m scathing, it’s ridiculous. How can you have Staines going to Basingstoke with us to Salisbury?

“The odds were always massively in favour of Salisbury being kicked out of the league, but then to have one home game in seven weeks having not had a prime Christmas/New Year fixture...well, it’s ridiculous.

“I thought we were harshly treated as a club when we came out of Administration last season and this is just another kick in the teeth. But we've got to get on with it, it's the Farnborough way the suppose.

“I said before the fixtures came out that this is going to be my hardest pre-season ever and that has taken at least £10,000 off our budget, which is non-existent anyway. I just don’t know how they have worked it out.

“They [Conference] don’t want to make things easy for you and you sometimes think that everyone wants to go against you, but you’ve got to just look at the positives and contemplate the phenomenal challenge we've got to get up for to upset the odds again.”

Fixtures Secretary Dennis Strudwick, however, has angrily refuted any suggestions of a conspiracy as “absurd” and insists the fixture requests of every one of its 68 member clubs were taken into consideration.

He told the News & Mail: “I’m in charge of compiling 462 fixtures and making sure that there are 11 Conference South fixtures listed for a Saturday. We try to do our very best to comply with as many requests from each of our members clubs as possible. I would say on average that eight out of the ten of the time the wish-list is granted.

“When the fixtures were compiled the decision on Salisbury’s future had not been made. Events have happened since that time and I do not have a crystal ball to determine what may or may not happen. As it is, Salisbury still have a right to appeal.

“Any suggestion of conspiracy or that this process is not done strictly on the level is totally absurd and is simply not worth the discussion. People clearly don’t know me if they think that.”

Farnborough have, however, had a request to move their home midweek fixtures from a Tuesday night to a Monday night in order to avoid any clash with neighbours Aldershot Town and/or televised Champions League fixtures.

As a result of the switch, the first home game of the season, against Weston-Super-Mare, will be played on Monday August 11 (ko 7.45pm), while Bishop’s Stortford’s visit Cherrywood Road on Monday November 10.

 
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