West Yorkshire League: ‘Disgusting’ decision puts Bardsey future in question

Danny Maw scored Bardsey's winner against Boroughbridge, but the league later alleged he was ineligible to play (Photo: Jamie Grubb)
Danny Maw scored Bardsey's winner against Boroughbridge, but the league later alleged he was ineligible to play (Photo: Jamie Grubb)

Bardsey have threatened to pull out of the West Yorkshire League and fold as a club after an appeal against their County Cup expulsion failed.

The current West Yorkshire League champions were thrown out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player in their fourth round victory over Boroughbridge on January 3.

Danny Maw scored the winning goal in the cup tie but the West Riding County FA have said he played under a suspension.

The striker picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the league game against Boroughbridge on December 20.

However, Bardsey received a letter on Boxing Day which said there were “no new suspensions starting within the following 14 days”.

The club presented the letter at their appeal hearing on Monday evening, but the West Riding FA upheld the original decision.

“It’s absolutely disgusting,” said Bardsey boss Lee Barraclough.

“They know they have made a mistake and we have had to pay for it.”

A West Riding County FA statement accepted the letter “could be considered misleading” but said the “non-receipt of paperwork is not a defence” and the club were responsible for keeping their own tally of cautions.

Barraclough confirmed Bardsey would hold a committee meeting later this week to discuss the club’s future, with the potential of folding a realistic option.

His side are due to welcome Otley Town to Keswick Lane on Saurday, but the gaffer said the match was in jeopardy.

He added: “It would be a shame if the league lost a club like Bardsey over a matter like this.

“Who knows if we will be even playing again on Saturday.”

The County Cup is the one competition missing off Barraclough CV after a magical five-year reign at Keswick Lane.

He has masterminded triumphs in the league over the last two seasons, before switching his focus primarily on a cup final date at Elland Road this campaign.

“We have given their competition the utmost respect and built our whole season around their competition,” he added.

“To be taken out through no fault of our own, it’s a real kick in the balls.”

The WRCFA said: “After consulting the evidence, it is clear that in no respect did Bardsey intend to field the ineligible player.

“In keeping with the precedent set when dealing with similar cases regarding ineligible/suspended players, the club must be ejected from the competition.

“As an association, we are committed to developing the game at a local level and work tirelessly to this end. However, another aspect of our work is to govern the game in accordance with The FA rules and regulations.

“It is with regret that this incident has taken place, and once again we would like to wish Bardsey the very best of luck with the rest of the season in the West Yorkshire Association Football League.”