WGC FC call Watford the latest elite football club to show no interest in grassroots game after cancelling friendly
PUBLISHED: 18:05 03 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:25 03 August 2018
Welwyn Garden City have called Watford’s cancellation of their friendly as “just another example of clubs and individuals at the elite level having no interest in the way grassroots and non-league clubs function”.
The Citizens were due to take on the Premier League side’s U23 development side in their marquee pre-season friendly of the summer.
But just 25 hours before the kick-off at Herns Lane, the Hornets pulled out, citing a lack of players to be able to fulfil the fixture.
It has left WGC completely in the lurch and out of pocket.
Not only will they struggle to get another fixture at such short notice but programmes, food and many other items necessary will go to waste.
Many of the club’s young players and fans who were down to be mascots and ball boys and girls have also been left “very upset”.
WGC issued a statement through their Twitter account expressing their anger and disappointment.
It reads: “We are extremely sad, disappointed and angry that Watford FC have conducted themselves in such a poor manner and with such naivety as to what this means for WGC FC.
“Whilst this game was confirmed in May 2018, we were first advised by Watford FC at 9.30pm on Thursday, August 2 that there may be a problem, but they would advise and let us know.
“They have only now let us know at 2pm on Friday, August 3, that they can now not field any sort of side to participate in the friendly.
“What this means for us as a club?
“A huge loss in revenue - we have already paid out for food, drink, programmes and marketing, along with the obvious loss of takings on the gate, bar and food hut through not having a fixture.
“The team will be left with no fixture now due to the late cancellation and not having time to arrange another game which damages our team’s preparations.
“We have sponsors, supporters and sadly young school children who were very excited to see their home team play the team they support.
“In several cases young supporters between the age of six and 12 that were due to be ball boys and mascots who are now extremely upset.
“Everyone at WGC FC feel completely let-down and feel that this is just another example of clubs and individuals at the elite level having no interest in the way grassroots and non-league clubs function and the ramifications of their actions in case.
“We offer a massive apology to our supporters that were so looking forward to the game and all our hard-working volunteers that have been amazing in the build-up to tomorrow and helping the club get ready.
“Please be aware that the whole committee are working on finding a replacement but this may be difficult at short notice.
“We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday, August 18, when we start our first season at step four.”