Stow boss slams local FA over floodlights

UNHAPPY BOSS: Stow boss Rick Andrews
UNHAPPY BOSS: Stow boss Rick Andrews
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With their promotion hopes now severely under threat over a floodlight issue, Stowmarket Town boss Rick Andrews has hit out at the Suffolk FA for their lack of investment in the club.

The Old Gold and Blacks moved three points clear at the top of the Thurlow Nunn League First Division table following Tuesday night’s 2-0 win at Team Bury.

However, their failure to comply with league regulations could now deny Andrews’ men the chance of ending their 12-year absence from the Premier Division, as well as playing in next season’s FA Cup and FA Vase.

Thurlow Nunn League rules state that all of its teams must have their floodlights checked every two years to ensure they continue to meet the ‘Grade G’ requirements, but Stow have failed to meet those demands since their last inspection in November 2013.

And having been informed that their Greens Meadow facility will require a £10,000 investment to bring it up to scratch, Andrews is calling on the county’s governing body, which is based in the town, to get involved in the club’s hour of need.

“When the lights were installed 30 years ago they met the regulations at the time,” he said. “They weren’t designed to meet the current regulations.

“We’ve heard we’re not the only club in this predicament (14 clubs have inspections pending). There are lots of clubs in this predicament as well.

“I find it hugely disappointing that the club has not had a single penny off the Suffolk FA or the council.

“Suffolk FA go on about putting three point whatever million into Suffolk football, well where is it? We haven’t had a penny of it

In response to Andrews’ plea, a spokesman from the Suffolk FA said: “We would be pleased to meet with the club to advise on funding available to support facility improvements, as we do with many clubs across the country each season.”

The Thurlow Nunn League chairman Peter Hutchings has insisted his organisation will do everything they can to help Stow rectify the situation.