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Hythe Town manager Clive Cook unhappy with the football fixtures over Christmas

Hythe boss Clive Cook has hit out at the Bostik League over their Christmas fixture list.

Cook feels too many games are squeezed in at this time of year and he’s questioned the logic behind some of the Bank Holiday pairings.

Hythe, who host Phoenix on Saturday, go to Ramsgate on Boxing Day before flying to Guernsey next weekend and then entertaining Herne Bay on New Year’s Day.

Clive Cook Picture: Gary Brwone
Clive Cook Picture: Gary Brwone

Cook said: “Christmas is all about getting fans through the turnstiles and watching enjoyable games. Why don’t they give us Ashford instead of sending Sittingbourne to Ashford and us to Ramsgate?

“That’s not a derby, not when you’ve got Ashford 10 minutes up the road. Ashford are probably saying the same. We were asked who we’d like to play on Boxing Day and Easter and we put down Ashford but got someone completely different.

“I’m sure they would have put Hythe because it’s money through the turnstiles. If we played Ashford at home, we’d have got 1,600. We did it against Folkestone and that proved the point.

“Non-league clubs need that extra revenue. Give it to the fans because they’re going to see a fantastic game between local rivals. That’s what they want. Whether it goes to Ashford or Hythe, there’s got to be a better thought process. Whoever’s closest, put them in and let them earn their money.”

He added: “What happens if we get caught (in Guernsey) on the 30th and don’t come back until the 31st? Will we still be expected to play on the 1st? Yes, we will, so that’s where it’s wrong.

“Why would you send Horsham all the way to Guernsey on Boxing Day for an early kick-off? That is so disrespectful to Horsham. That is advantage Guernsey. You might as well say ‘don’t have a Christmas’, it’s ridiculous.

“Why have you got to play on January 1 when you’re playing on the 30th? The players have all got families and work so it does make it awkward.

“I know some people don’t care about Christmas and being with family but that’s just how I am as a person. Over the Christmas period, there should be more organisation.

“Why play the 23rd and 26th? Why don’t you play the 27th? Why don’t you play New Year’s Eve? I know it’s a Sunday but it doesn’t matter because we’re going to play on Boxing Day.

“There’s no-one thinking about it so what are we doing? We’re playing on the 1st. Why don’t we play on the 2nd?

“The problem is the games are so close together. I do trust my players but sometimes they could over-indulge so it’s a tricky one.”

Callum Emptage returns to the squad on Saturday but Jerson Dos Santos will miss that game and Boxing Day through suspension.

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