Lichfield City FC set to withdraw from Walsall Senior Cup ahead of final over change of venue

Lichfield City FC could lose the Walsall Senior Cup final without kicking a ball.

The Banks' Stadium where the Walsall Senior Cup was due to be played

The Banks’ Stadium where the Walsall Senior Cup was due to be played. Pic: Nigel Mykura and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The club had been scheduled to play Rushall Olympic at the Banks’ Stadium, but a decision was made to move the game to Chasetown FC rather than delay the final and play at the original venue.

As a result, Lichfield have said they are unwilling to compete.

Chairman Darren Leaver told LichfieldLive the players felt the switch had robbed them of a glamour occasion.

“This is our FA Cup final,” he said. “The competition was scheduled to be played at Walsall and the lads were all looking forward to it.

“We’d got coaches planned and wanted to get the junior section involved to make it a real day out.

“With all due respect to Chasetown, it isn’t the same.

“We told the players about the changes and they said they didn’t want to play.”

City – who have knocked out Chasetown and Walsall on the way to the final – had thought the game would be played on May 9 or May 23, but were told it no had to be on the earlier date.

Lichfield had hoped for a rethink, but a statement published by Rushall Olympic appears to end any chance of the game being moved.

Chasetown FC's Scholars Ground home. Pic: Geoff Pick

Chasetown FC’s Scholars Ground home. Pic: Geoff Pick and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

“At no point have we been consulted on this, we just saw it on Twitter saying the final had been moved,” said Mr Leaver.

“We raised our concerns with the Staffordshire FA and were told they understood but that the decision was made.

“Now we see that an announcement has been made that we’ve definitely withdrawn.

“We’re the lowest ranked team in the competition and I do wonder if it would have been the same had it been one of the bigger clubs who had reached the final?

“I know we’ll be hauled in front of the FA to explain our decision, but my only other option would have been to put the reserves or the kids in and that would have seen us accused of not taking the competition seriously.

“It feels like we’ve been steamrollered because we’re a little club.”

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.
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