Worthing issue statement over quick rearrangement of Bognor match

Worthing have suggested that Bognor jumped the gun by announcing today's called-off match between the sides would be played at 3pm tomorrow (Tuesday).

Bognor fans at Worthing earlier in the season - the two teams will meet again at Nyewood Lane on Tuesday afternoon / Picture: Martin Denyer
Bognor fans at Worthing earlier in the season - the two teams will meet again at Nyewood Lane on Tuesday afternoon / Picture: Martin Denyer

The 24-hour delay has been agreed between the teams but Worthing have said it was announced by Bognor before an official agreement was reached.

There has been some criticism of the quick rearrangement by fans pointing out not everyone who was planning to attend will be able to tomorrow.

A Worthing FC statement issued on Monday afternoon said: "For transparency with our supporters, the sequence of events this morning were as follows. At around 11am the club were made aware that the match was subject to a pitch inspection, to be held at 11.30am.

"Ahead of the inspection (at around 11.15am) our First Team Manager was contacted by an official at Bognor to ask that if the game was postponed, would we like to play the fixture tomorrow. Our manager said that from a footballing point of view, we would.

"It should be made clear that at this point, despite social media posts being issued by the home team, no official decision between the two club secretaries had been made.

"Once we were informed that the pitch inspection had failed, our club management committee met online to discuss the offer to play tomorrow. This meeting was held at 1.15pm and at 1.30pm the club secretaries spoke and formally agreed the decision to re-arrange the fixture to tomorrow.

"The decision was not taken lightly and many factors were considered, especially the inconvenience to our supporters, who would only be given 24 hours notice and the importance of the fixture to them..

"The other key consideration was Adam and his squad, who for 3 key reasons, wanted to agree to the rearrangement offer. Firstly, with 8 games already scheduled for January, we didn’t want to create a congestion overload going into early February. This could put further pressure onto the squad.

"Secondly, should government policy impose restrictions on the season, we were keen to get as many of the 32 games we would need to play to ensure 75% of our season was completed, to prevent another void season. Finally, the team were ready to play, keen to play and were now able to benefit from a light training session at home this afternoon in preparation.

"We appreciate this will be an inconvenience to a number of our supporters, but, for footballing reasons, we wanted to give Adam and his squad the best chance of securing our ambition of promotion this season and after listening to all the opinion, we believe this to be the right decision and one we believe our supporters will understand in the long run."