Sunday League finalists shown Boundary Park red card
Reporter: SIMON SMEDLEY and and JOHN GILDER
Date online: 07 May 2014
LATICS have shown the red card to the Oldham Sunday League’s showpiece Challenge Cup final at Boundary Park tomorrow night.
The game — between Limeside King George and Fitton Hill Rangers — has been switched to Chadderton FC’s Broadway ground following controversy over a charity friendly match at Boundary Park last week between a Latics XI and a league representative side.
It is alleged that items of training equipment went missing during the match - and the league is being blamed.
League chairman Jack Bamford said: “Unfortunately, a number of pairs of youth team training shoes went missing, some of which have now turned up, but this is not good news.
“Latics’ chairman Simon Corney wasn’t pleased when he discovered what had happened, and now all the hard work that has gone into building up a relationship with Oldham Athletic has taken a severe knock.
“I am absolutely disgusted and I just cannot understand it. We are all so disappointed.”
King George and Rangers players, officials and supporters have reacted angrily to being shut out of Athletic’s facilities.
Rangers’ club secretary Tony Marsden tried to contact Athletic in the hope of persuading senior officials to reverse their decision: “We’re all gutted. Why should we be punished for something we haven’t been involved in? Getting to the Challenge Cup final is all about getting the chance to play at Boundary Park.”
King George secretary Warren Berry added: “Our lads are so disappointed, they feel like forfeiting the game. They’ve lost interest.”
This incident could bring an end to a relationship between the league and Oldham Athletic which stretches back many years.
The league’s Challenge Cup finals have always been played at Boundary Park when the pitch has been available.
Latics chief executive Neil Joy said: “We’ve not severed ties with the league, but needless to say we’re very, very disappointed following the actions of a few idiots.
“We’ve decided to cancel hosting the Challenge Cup final, but we’ve enjoyed a good relationship with the league for many years and we are hoping to restore that.”
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