Chairman's statement - Salisbury Hospitals Cup

I am aware that there has been some negative comment about the Club’s apparently not treating the Salisbury Hospitals Cup with respect. This perception is wide of the mark.

Early in the close season, we were able to reach agreement with high-flying National League team Eastleigh to play a pre-season friendly at the Ray Mac on 23 July, and plans were put in motion to prepare for that fixture.

It was a few weeks later when our Secretary was advised by the Salisbury & District Football League, which administers the cup competition, that the final against Bemerton Heath Harlequins would be (also) on 23 July.

We advised the League that we were already committed to a match that evening and requested a re-arranged date, but were turned down. We made another request for a new date, or if that was not possible, we offered to stand aside and have the Cup awarded to Bemerton. In those circumstances we would make a donation to the Hospital, but again we were turned down, and Mark Winter agreed to manage a team to fulfill the fixture on behalf of the Club. We wish them well this evening.

Therefore it was not any form of disrespect for the competition which led to the unfortunate clash of fixtures, but rather our commitment to fulfill a previously arranged match when we believed the final could have been moved to another convenient date early in the new season.