Atherton Collieries FC would like to issue a brief response to the FC United statement issued on Tuesday night.
We acknowledge FC United frustrations totally but find the statement misleading and unjust to Paddy Wharton.The FA gave us guidance after we applied for dispensation to sign a new goalkeeper (we made it clear that this wasn’t to be Paddy) for the Barrow replay. The goalkeeper who played in the original tie was no longer with the club and therefore unavailable for selection.
On Friday morning (3rd January) it became apparent (as per the FA) that the only two options available to the club were to request special dispensation to play the current registered goalkeeper (Paddy) or to use an outfield player.
We immediately brought this dilemma to the attention of FC United. The clubs had a considered and amicable discussion regarding the options available and we proceeded with the FA request.
We fully support Paddy who has been caught up in the subsequent crossfire. He is at no point to blame for any of this. The clubs have spoken since Tuesday night and have drawn a line under this unfortunate situation. We wish them all the best in future endeavours and we will see them in February.
The club will be making no further comment on this situation.