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Charged - for protecting a referee

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Filed: Friday, 23rd March 2018
By: Staff Writer

Thundersley Rovers Sports Club are deeply disappointed to learn that the club has been charged with Misconduct by Essex FA.

The charge relates to an incident that occured in January at the end of an Under 10s fixture at our home ground, Thundersley Common, when a coach from an opposing team physically assaulted the designated match referee following a disagreement regarding a penalty decision.

The incident led to Rovers staff entering the field of play (albeit after the final whistle had sounded) in order to form a physical barrier between the referee and his assailants in order to prevent the situation from escalating further.

However Essex FA, in their infinite wisdom, have responded by hitting Thundersley Rovers with a charge of "failing to ensure players and/or officials and/or spectators conducted themselves in an orderly fashion" as a result - essentially making a mockery of the FA's 'Respect' programme.

Meanwhile the fine represents one of the heaviest EFA may impose for such an 'offence' - being as it is within the range of the highest of three fine tranches; those being 'low' (0-40), 'mid' (25-60) and 'high' (60-100).

As a Charter Standard club, we have a duty of care to all those who represent the club, be they players, spectators, coaches or match officials - and we will simply not tolerate this kind of thuggish behaviour at our ground, regardless of the consequences.

And whilst it is deeply regrettable that EFA have chosen to respond in this manner, we would have no hesitation in repeating our actions in order to prevent any of our representatives or match officials from being similarly exposed to abusive, threatening and/or criminal behaviour of this nature in future.

- Graeme Howlett

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