A bizarre cock-up left an angry club from the Dispatch district overlooked for the seedings in this season’s Notts FA Senior County Cup.
Now Bulwell have received an official apology -- after they lodged a protest and informed the FA at Soho Square.
The saga began when the draw for the First Round of the Senior Cup, which is Nottinghamshire non-League football’s most prestigious competition was announced last month.
It included Notts Senior League champions Bulwell, who were handed a home tie against Ruddington Village.
But they should have been one of the ten seeded clubs exempt from the tournament until the Third Round. This was because they reached the quarter-finals last term when knocked out only by the eventual winners, Carlton Town.
Ironically, Bulwell’s seeded spot had been allocated to Basford United, whose ground they share as tenants but whom they knocked out of last season’s competition in the First Round!
Bulls’ secretary Andy Radford complained to Notts FA, whose operations manager Franklyn Locker admitted their mistake but said they could do nothing to rectify it.
“Surely a re-draw was the solution to the error,” said Radford. “The same situation arose last season when five clubs were not entered into the draw that should have been. But the reply I got initially was a definite no. I was informed there could not be a re-draw because of new software that had been installed and because FA regulations would not allow it to happen.
“We said we would rather pull out than participate from the First Round, but were told that a fine would then be imposed on us for not fulfilling a fixture. I found all this to be a cover-up because I phoned the FA, who said Notts FA had the power to re-draw any competition as long as the FA were notified.”
Radford sent a letter of complaint to Notts FA’s chief executive officer, Elaine Oram. And Oram responded, saying she wasn’t aware of the blunder and would resolve the issue.
Now The Bulls have been restored to the seedings, and Basford have been told they must replace them in the First Round on 12th October.
“I can only apologise for any inconvenience in this matter and wish all at Bulwell all the best for the future,” said Oram in an e-mail to Radford.
Said Radford: “Conversations between myself and Mr Locker failed to resolve anything. So I would like to thank Elaine Oram for her support in this matter. The outcome was gratefully received by all at the club.”
The ten seeded clubs are: Bulwell, Carlton Town, Clifton All Whites, Dunkirk, Eastwood Town, Greenwood Meadows, Linby Colliery Welfare, Rainworth Miners Welfare, Retford United and Sutton Town.