Slough have second thoughts over their appeal to the FA

Banbury United’s rearranged Evo-Stik Southern League game with Slough Town will go ahead on Tuesday after the Berkshire club withdrew its appeal to the FA.

The original premier division fixture was abandoned at halftime in October and Slough did not want to replay the game, despite the Southern League ruling it should be. They appealed the decision to the FA but have now withdrawn that appeal.

Slough posted a statement on their official website which includes the following:

‘The following statement is an update on the appeal against the Southern League’s decision to order the replaying of the Banbury United v Slough Town game.

‘Given the amount of time that has passed and following Tuesday night’s result, the FA’s decision now carries such significant bearing to the outcome of the Southern Premier League. Given the current circumstances, we believe that it is now not appropriate to be seeking to influence this through any other means than on the field of play.

‘For this reason, Slough Town Football Club yesterday requested to withdraw the appeal. The appeal was never meant to be personal, nor was it about the points. It was purely and simply about the principle of spectators not being able to influence the outcome of games and about the protection of officials. However, the time lapse and the turn of events means that it can now only be viewed as personal and would absolutely be about the points.

‘This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we accept that not everyone will agree with us, but sometimes one has to swallow ones principles and do what is right for all parties. Banbury United should be afforded the opportunity to play for their league survival and not have that influenced by off the field activities.

‘We feel that had the matter been dealt with in a timely fashion, the club would not have been placed in this intolerable position and currently feel that we have no choice in the interests of sportsmanship.’

It would have been unusual for the FA to rule against the Southern League’s decision, especially when the game was abandoned so early, so Slough might have wasted the money the appeal would have cost them.