A substitution during a kids’ football match has ended up with a small football club in Berkshire having to pay more than £3,000.
A parent, angry that his ten-year-old son was taken off has successfully sued Winnersh Rangers.
Volunteers there are dismayed as they say two investigations into the matter cleared the club of any wrongdoing.
When an Under-10s player was substituted, his dad wasn’t very happy about it. The club says in this case, the father contacted the Wokingham Borough Council’s Child Protection Team, claiming the substitution was emotional abuse and that he’s suffered racism. Two investigations exonerated the club but that wasn’t the end of the story. The father sued the club for more than £3,000.
Phil Chick, Club Secretary, Winnersh Rangers: “The first we heard about it was we discovered a letter where a postman tried to deliver it to our home ground where we have no postal address or letterbox in mid-March where a hearing had already taken place three days earlier, where we had lost the case because we didn’t appear.”
That money was taken from the club’s account last week, “I don’t believe it was a vendetta. I think it was just a passionate parent, if I’m honest, thinking he was doing the right thing but losing sight that we’re here for the children.”
“I’ve already been contacted this morning by a manager asking what she should do next season when she’s standing on the sidelines wanting to make a substitution, thinking about the implications of going to court.”
There’ll be a hearing next month when the club will apply to have the case set aside. Just to give you some sort of context here, the amount of money that the club has lost would take fundraisers here about a year and a half to make back again. Money that’s used on pitch hire, football kits and keeping the cost of subs down.