Health Is Paramount - 29 March
Risborough Rangers would like to make the following statement. These are unprecedented times, people are suffering, losing loved ones and facing difficult financial challenges and at the moment we are all uncertain as to what the immediate future holds.
This global crisis means football has to take a back seat while as a Nation we deal with the more important issue of keeping our families safe. At Risborough Rangers FC the health of our players, supporters, club officials and the wider community is of paramount importance.
We have enjoyed an unbelievable season unbeaten in the league so far, on the verge of promotion and winning the league title, and with a cup final and cup semi- final to look forward to so the F A's decision is a bitter blow to everyone associated with Rangers. Since July 2019 it has taken incredible hard work from the players, the management team, our committee and sponsors to put us in this position which was going to be an historic one for the club.
There are lots of arguments on how the FA could and should have dealt with this and every solution would have meant winners and losers. We would have liked to have seen the FA follow the current protocol adopted by the Premier League and take some more time to see how this unfolds and wait until the end of April. Perhaps if we do come out of the current lockdown in the near future, we will be able to conclude the season through the summer which seems to be the plan being followed by the Premier League. Grassroots football means a lot to a great many people and their achievements, work and effort should not be dismissed as completely unimportant despite the current climate.
We would like to thank our supporters who have turned up week in week out in their numbers to follow the team, we have seen some amazing games and the players have shown incredible determination to keep our unbeaten run going. We would also like to thank our army of volunteers and all our sponsors especially B.E.P Construction as without them this incredible season would not have been possible.
Somehow this decision does not feel right and even if the season cannot be concluded we would urge the FA that the 2019/2020 seasons results and achievements are acknowledged as a matter of record including player appearances, goal scorers and club stats so at least all the hard work and effort is not dismissed entirely. We hope we are all back doing what we love very soon in the future. No matter what, we will be holding a celebration of this season when it is safe to do so and we will be even more determined to build on our success when football returns to the B.E.P Stadium. - Stay Safe
Following the statement from the club first team manager Mark Eaton provides his view
Following the FA's decision to expunge the results form this season the clubs statement pretty much echoes the view from myself and the players.
We are in unprecedented times and rightly so the health and well-being of our families is far more important than football. That said we are desperately disappointed with the F A's decision and in my opinion more time should have been given as this situation is changing all the time.
I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to everyone at the club who made this seasons success possible. Despite what the F A say I am not going to dismiss and expunge the achievements this year.
We have an unbelievable group of committee members from Richard Woodward the Chairman down, everyone has pulled in the same direction to make this such a brilliant environment for myself and the players to work in and that has contributed to our success this season.
On a personal basis managing the club is a real team effort and I have had incredible support from my management team, I couldn't wish to work with better guys than Jon, Paul, Tav and Davis, all have contributed so much. Our squad this season have been a pleasure to be around, the atmosphere and team spirit has been legendary. We have a special group of players at Risborough whose determination and commitment this season even when in tough situations has been incredible. To go unbeaten in a league at any level is some achievement and it's unfortunate that as a group this global crisis has robbed them of being crowned Champions but the memories created will of course live on.
I would like to thank our supporters especially Steve Burnett's Red Army who have followed us home and away we have really appreciated it. Finally a special thank you to Barry and Cherie Phipps for their unwavering support as main sponsors.
Football is a massive part of all our lives but at this time we have to put it in perspective and hope that we can all come out of this nightmare situation safe and healthy.
I am sure at some point our lives will return to something that resembles normality and once we are back up and running I am determine to treat this as an interruption and pick up where we left off on 10th March against Wokingham.