05:13PM, Wednesday 02 May 2018
Burnham boss Paul Shone doesn’t think the league rules which led to this Saturday’s Supplementary Cup final against Flackwell Heath being cancelled are very clear.
The Blues and the Heathens were set to travel to Ardley’s ground to play the final, after both sides had progressed through the rounds.
But the Hellenic League caught both clubs unaware by cancelling the final due to ‘player registration irregularities’.
Usman Lalustani’s appearance for Flackwell in a Challenge Cup game earlier in the campaign means he should have been ineligible to play for Burnham in subsequent rounds of the Supplementary Cup.
Shone admitted the club had made a genuine mistake, and thought the two competitions were separate, even though league competition rule 6.4 states that ‘no player shall be allowed to play for more than one competing club in either competition in any one season’.
Sides that drop out of the Challenge Cup in the first round are entered into the Supplementary Cup.
“We’re disappointed because this ruling isn’t very clear,” said Shone.
“It’s a bit of a sore one for me because I felt that this was a completely different competition.
“We’ve said that it’s a genuine mistake. Usman played for me at Flackwell in the Challenge Cup defeat against Windsor. I felt that this was a totally different competition. It’s a very strange one, and the rules aren’t very black and white on this. We also feel the league should have picked up on this from day one
Shone added: “I don’t see the competition being completed now because Highworth (who Burnham beat 1-0 in the semi-final) also have a player who’s played in both competitions, so they couldn’t be reinstated.”
Flackwell Heath boss Marcus Richardson added: “It’s days away from the cup final and these things are just being noticed.
“It’s something the league should have been on top of a long time ago. It’s embarrassing.
“I feel sorry for Burnham and for Shoney. I didn’t want them to win it, obviously, but some players won’t get many chances to play in cup finals. Some may never get that chance again.
“We could easily get given this cup for making no effort at all in the final. If we were to win I’d like to do it in the right way.”
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