St Albans City boss slams National League after fixtures leave squad decimated
PUBLISHED: 06:30 16 September 2016
St Albans City manager Ian Allinson has hit out at the National League about what he says is a fixture overload.
City’s match against Hemel Hempstead Town on Tuesday night was their 11th league game in the opening six weeks of the season and Allinson says his small squad are feeling it with a number of injuries leaving them down to the “bare bones”.
Injuries to defenders Ben Martin, Ryan Johnson and Andrew Iwediuno saw Darren Locke recalled from his dual-registration with Barton Rovers.
And despite repeated questions to the League, he has been left frustrated by a wall of silence.
He said: “I’ve said it before but whoever does this fixture list needs to seriously look at what they’re doing.
“This is a part-time football club that trains on Tuesday and Thursdays. We have a commitment to the budget we use. We can’t hold big squads of 24, 25 players like most of the teams in the Premier League or Championship or whatever. We have to run with a squad of 17, 18 and it’s put a lot of pressure on the players this last six weeks with the amount of games we’ve played.
“I felt we should have had a clear week this week to prepare for the FA Cup and to have a game against your local rivals is wrong. We don’t seem to get any answers from the National League about why they’ve done it.”
And he also is annoyed that both the Saints and the Tudors are missing out on a potential bumper payday by not facing each other twice over the Christmas period, a question which again has not received a response from the league.
He continued: “We’ve had 903 people turn up on a Tuesday night which is outstanding but we’d have got 1,500 on Boxing Day so we’ve lost 600 people and that’s a lot of money this club has lost.
“A lot of other clubs in this league have local derbies and I’ll name Chelmsford against Bishop’s Stortford who’ll get a bigger crowd than we’ll get against Oxford.
“That gives them an advantage and those are the sort of things that nobody at the League wants to talk to us about and give us an answer.
“It would have been great for the public to play Hemel on Boxing Day and New Years Day, great for both towns and it would have been a great atmosphere over the Christmas period.
“That’s my opinion and that’s me being honest. I think we’ve had too many games and [Maidenhead’s manager] Alan Devonshire said that on Sunday in the press that they’ve had too many games.
“I just think it would have been nice to have a week off before the FA Cup.”