'A terrible shame' - Harrogate Town supporters to miss out on another Wembley final

Harrogate Town managing director Garry Plant says he is "deeply sorry" that the club's supporters are going to miss out on another Wembley final.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 5:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 6:06 pm
Harrogate Town players and staff celebrate on the Wembley turf following their 2019/20 National League play-off final success over Notts County. Picture: Getty Images

Covid-19 restrictions meant that no spectators were allowed inside the home of football to witness the Sulphurites secure an historic promotion to the Football League back in August.

And, having had to forego the pleasure of seeing their team beat Notts County 3-1 in last season's National League play-off final, Town fans have now received the devastating news that they will not be permitted entry into their FA Trophy showpiece either.

The Wetherby Road outfit will meet Concord Rangers in the final of the 2019/20 competition, which had to be postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Harrogate Town managing director Garry Plant. Picture: Matt Kirkham

But the FA has rearranged the tie for May 3, a fortnight before spectators are allowed to begin attending sporting event again.

"It's just a terrible shame," Plant told the Harrogate Advertiser.

"We were hoping for a date further down the line so that our supporters would be able to be with us, but sadly they're going to miss another trip to Wembley.

"It is so disappointing for them, I am deeply sorry that they will not be able to share in this experience."

The FA announced the revised date for Non-League Finals Day on Thursday, and Plant revealed that the news came as a surprise even to him.

"We've been chasing the FA about this matter for quite a long time now without getting any kind of response," he added.

"We had no idea that a new date had been decided on. It came like a bolt out of the blue."

Asked if Town had been able to convey their wish for their showdown with Concord Rangers to be rearranged for a date when fans were allowed inside Wembley Stadium, Plant replied: "We were not consulted at all."

The FA released a statement on Thursday afternoon which said: 'Despite our best efforts to accommodate limited spectators, a suitable date was sadly not available.

'Both the Buildbase FA Vase Final between Consett and Hebburn Town and Buildbase FA Trophy Final featuring Harrogate Town and Concord Rangers will be played behind closed doors.'