02 Dec 2020 in First Team
Ashington Football Club regretfully announce that we are withdrawing from the 2020/21 FA Vase competition.
We were due to play Charnock Richard FC (near Chorley, Lancs) on Saturday 5th December but due to several factors the club feel it would be in the best interests of all concerned that we do not play this game and withdraw from the tie. This is a decision that has not been taken lightly and it is one that carries massive disappointment for all at the club on and off the pitch.
Our first priority under the current circumstances lie with the health and wellbeing of our playing staff, officials and volunteers. A six hour return journey from one very high risk area to another during the current situation is not one which the football club is comfortable with - potentially placing the players, staff and their families at risk.
Like everyone else, we are desperate to get back playing with fans able to attend and watch and the only way this will be possible is for us all to play our part in reducing the infection rate within our area allowing us to move out of Tier 3. In order to help this happen we as a club will adhere to the government guidance that travel out of a Tier 3 area for sport should not take place.
We are aware that step 3-6 within the National League System has been identified as work, however playing football is not the primary income for the vast majority of our squad. We need to minimise the risk in our players and staff being unable to attend their primary employment due to illness or isolation.
Secondly - without fans permitted in the ground or external support to play the fixture it is not financially viable to travel, pay wages and associated expenses in what is an uncertain time for non league clubs such as ours. There is also no certainty that the competition will be completed due to the pandemic given that last years final is still to be played.
Ashington Football Club have entered FA Competitions since 1887 and are always proud to represent the town and wider area on a national stage. On this occasion we feel the correct decision has been made, in the best interests of the overall Football Club with a duty of care, and hope everyone connected with the club understand the very difficult position we are in.
We would like to thank Charnock Richard for their understanding and wish them the best of luck for the remainder of the competition and season.
We look forward to hopefully playing again soon, in the meantime we hope everyone stays safe and well.