STATEMENT: Bridlington reiterate ‘Club for Sale’ after another player signs for Ferriby

In an open and quite frank statement last week Bridlington Town Chairman Pete Smurthwaite offered to sell the club to National League North side North Ferriby United after several players were signed.


However, fast forward a week and it seems that Ferriby are at it again and Pete has just released the following statement:


Myself and Curtis Woodhouse were informed by our player Paul Robson that North Ferriby Utd had been in touch with him “again” to sign for them. We had received a 7 day notice of approach from NFU but informed them it was not in accordance with Rule and they could not sign him. On the 22nd January, 2018 we sent a report about this illegal approach to the East Riding County Football Association (ERCFA) to ask them to look into this problem. We again contacted the ERCFA to ask them to contact North Ferriby Utd (NFU) to enforce an embargo on not being able to sign any more of our players and were informed our request had been sent to the Football Association (FA), we have to date received no response (not a surprise).

Paul Robson has today sent a text to Curtis Woodhouse to say he is unavailable for us tomorrow because he signed for NFU last night. I have today contacted the ERCFA but received no satisfactory explanation and the usual “Sweet FA” response.

NFU have now signed 5 of our first team players since the 30th November, 2017. The registration rules are you can only approach one of other clubs players every 28 days, this situation should not have been allowed by the FA & ERCFA to happen.

We play Barton Town tomorrow in what is a vital game in their fight against relegation with us fielding a weekend team through no fault of our own which is totally unfair on the other teams fighting relegation in our league.

The same applied last week when we played top of the league AFC Mansfield with a weakened team, no disrespect to them they were worthy winners. What is even more frustrating for me was I had to serve a 3 match stadium ban at the start of the season having been reported by the referee after a game last season.
The 3 officials had “inadvertently” made errors in their reports to the ERCFA, my case was judged by the ERCFA before I had sent my “Witness Statements” to support my appeal against the charges. The ERCFA initially gave me a 5 game stadium ban and fortunately my appeal was heard by the Derbyshire County FA and I was subsequently reduced to 3 games (it’s a shame we are not affiliated to them).

In July 2017, I was kindly invited by the ERCFA to a “Presentation Evening” at Hull University and I was pleased to be informed that I was to be presented with an award for my “50 Years’ Service to Football”. Much to my amazement all I received was a “Lapel Badge” and a “Framed Citation” which had the wrong information on it. Apparently I should have received a proper inscribed medal in a presentation case but it had gone missing and to this day I have not received it.

NFU obviously have no respect for the Registration Rules and it is such a shame they are allowed to get away with it, yet if it was my club I think it might have been sorted.

I will most probably now be charged with “bringing the game into disrepute” something they do quite well themselves but at least I will “eventually” have my medal to wear with pride and show to people who do have respect for myself and our football club. The offer is still on the table if NFU want to come and take the full club.

Peter Smurthwaite
Chairman – Bridlington Town AFC

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