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Maidstone United's FA Trophy opponents Frome Town hit out at FA over scheduling of third-round tie

Maidstone’s FA Trophy opponents have criticised the FA in an open letter over the scheduling of their third-round tie.

The game has been confirmed for tomorrow night at the Gallagher Stadium but Frome Town complained this morning they were being backed into a corner.

Maidstone are due to meet Frome at the Gallagher Stadium Picture: Keith Gillard
Maidstone are due to meet Frome at the Gallagher Stadium Picture: Keith Gillard

They were unhappy with the prospect of travelling to a Tier 4 area and wanted the tie played at a later date.

In a letter to chief executive Mark Bullingham, Frome chairman Derek Graham said: “We are still awaiting confirmation that we ‘have’ to travel to Maidstone United tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 7.45pm to fulfil our fixture in the FA Trophy.

"With Maidstone in Tier 4 and classified as an ‘elite’ club, we are in the unenviable position of choosing whether to send our players into a Tier 4 area against the government advice and rules.

"As a non-elite team we do not have the resources of elite teams.

"The changing of the competition from non-elite to elite at this point seems incredibly unfair, especially at this later date with just 1 day before the fixture. Especially when the terminology of ‘elite’ was only redefined recently.

"We want to know why our requests for this game to be held at a later date cannot be met due to the competition rules.

"As a club we are ready and able to field a side for this fixture, and we understand that the FA will be asking the DCMS for the fixture to go ahead.

"However, with player safety in mind, we feel we are being ‘forced’ into a situation of withdrawing from a competition that we have done everything we can to partake in.

"As the chairman of this club, we are doing our utmost survive, after it’s near collapse back in April.

"Our fans raised £20,000 to help pay off the most pressing club debts.

"The rules of tiering currently have us in the only band in football where football can currently not be played (step 3-4), with the leagues at our level concerned about teams travelling within Tier 3 regions.

"We are doing everything we can to keep this club afloat with no income and no foreseeable league fixtures, our Trophy run has been keeping this club going.

"So to you, I ask do you wish me to send our players into Tier 4 or to withdraw from the competition?"

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