Blackpool boss Neil Critchley criticises FA 'incompetence' following the late postponement of the Forest Green Rovers game

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley states the FA should launch an internal investigation into themselves over why it took so long for the decision to be made to postpone his side’s tie against Forest Green Rovers.
Neil Critchley (Photographer Dave Howarth / CameraSport)Neil Critchley (Photographer Dave Howarth / CameraSport)
Neil Critchley (Photographer Dave Howarth / CameraSport)

The Seasiders were only informed that the FA Cup game at Bloomfield Road was off an hour before the announcement was made on Friday evening.

Forest Green are currently under investigation over the eligibility of a player used in their first round meeting against Scarborough Athletic, with a replay required to decide the contest.

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Blackpool still do not know the rescheduled date of Saturday’s fixture, or who they will be facing.

Critchley admits he’s been left frustrated by the situation, and is concerned by the repercussions- despite his side not being at fault.

"A lot of people put a lot of time and effort into making sure the game could go ahead because of the conditions, and for that to be taken out of our hands through incompetence is very frustrating to say the least,” he said.

"I was very angry about the situation because we were looking forward to it. I received the phone call 45 minutes before the statement came out on Friday evening at half past six. I’ve never been involved in that type of situation before. We were prepared for the game and ready to go, so to get that news was very bizarre.

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“Forest Green have obviously made a mistake, but the fact it’s taken the FA this long to highlight this error- it strikes a little bit of incompetence to me, and they should be having an internal investigation themselves.

"The game happened weeks ago, so we’re angry by the situation. The repercussions are endless. Players who were due to play on Saturday, now didn’t play, and that might have a knock on effect further down the line. We now have to fit another game in, because we’re not going to go straight through. Financially for the club, we were due to play on a Saturday, but now the game will be on a Tuesday night, so there’s a loss of revenue. There should be some form of compensation for us.

"I don’t know the ins and outs of why the investigation is taking place at this moment of time. Obviously everyone is speculating it’s about an ineligible player, but who that is, I honestly don’t know- we’re trying to find out for ourselves.

“We’ve been informed that we should know by Wednesday, but if you’re calling the game off on Friday then you should know what the issue is. We can only wait.”

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Critchley states the impact of the postponement could have a lasting effect on some of his players over the next month.

"Physically it has an impact, because if we had known the game was going to be off then we would’ve organised our training differently,” he added.

"The team had already been picked, and all of the prep had taken place. Psychologically the players are prepared and ready to play, so they were disappointed.

"Everyone has a busy schedule over Christmas, but when players are fatigued, the risk of injury goes up, so having to fit an extra game is not ideal.”