STATEMENT FROM THE CHAIRMAN
This week has undoubtedly been the hardest week I have experienced in my whole time being involved with Arbroath Walking Football Club. I wish to make a few points: –
The incident that happened at the Wednesday evenings session was unsavoury, to say the least, and could potentially lead to our suspension from RM Condor. This has been dealt with by the committee. The two individuals concerned have been contacted, apologised and accepted their suspension for their part in the fracas. I believe that there were a few members who were upset after Wednesday and have intimated that they may not return to club nights. I hope that this is not the case because I felt when I was there, it was a good night, and some great football was being played. It was just great to see everyone again!
As far as the committee is concerned this matter is now closed.
More worryingly, has been continued references that have been made regarding the two members of our club who through their own choice decided that in the Glasgow Tournament in April that they wanted to play for the Scottish Exiles team. From my own point of view, I was disappointed that they made the choice as they would have undoubtedly been first choice members of our squad however, we had no control over this. I contacted the manager of the Exiles to express my disappointment that they may be chosen for a tournament that we were also due to play in. On reflection, this was an error by me for which I have apologised to the members concerned.
As a club, we are not affiliated with anything and members as such are free to play for whoever they want to. This led to an inordinate number of messages through The Walking Football Updates channel on WhatsApp. A lot of these messages were extremely toxic in nature and a decision was made to suspend the channel for 48 hours in a bid to stop this.
Again, this matter has been dealt with by the committee and I expect no further communications on this.
THIS MATTER IS NOT TO BE RAISED AGAIN and anyone who does not adhere to this will face disciplinary action from the committee.
I know that a few of our members have been unhappy at the whole situation with the club including running and tackling especially, and I hope that I can reassure everyone that now that this has been brought out into the open again that we can make a fresh start. This will include members taking responsibility for their own actions on and off the pitch.
Please ensure that going forward, if you have maybe taken more than 3 touches or are running and tackling (and you know who you are), PLEASE just give yourself up and accept the decision of the referee whether you believe they are right or wrong. It has been said before many times, it is not easy refereeing trying to watch all that is going on at once so be helpful and help the referee. I don’t want to have to bring in yellow and red cards for persistent infringements but will not hesitate to do so should the need arise.
On club nights, IT IS TOTALLY IRRELEVANT what the score is or who scores. NOBODY CARES!
On another subject, it is very important that we always support each other. If you suspect that any of your fellow members may be struggling, particularly with their mental health, please be supportive and don’t hesitate to advise one of the committee members if you feel that may help.
At the end of the day, we should all be grateful that we are still fit and able to play any type of football at our age and the fact that we are all supposed to be mates just adds to the social aspect of the game. There will always be banter in football and this I find to be very healthy, but we must be aware that sometimes this can be taken too far, and it can become a problem for some, so be very careful when you attempt to wind up people.
Finally, I want to add, that there are too many rubbish messages going through the WF Updates channel. No one is interested if the Glasgow mobs have won you a bet or whatever the scores are, this is not the forum for this. This channel is for exclusively AWFC club business from now on. I know that a lot of the lads have used this channel in the past to inform me personally that they have paid for their 50/50 draw. Please stop this, rather than assume that I have the money if you have sent it to me. This will hopefully cut down a lot of traffic on this channel.
I hope that this is the last of this type of communication and please see this in the spirit it is meant to be taken.
Mike J Burnett
Arbroath Walking Football Club