You may remember Guernsey FC from last season. Exeter City went over to the Channel Island, and played them in a pre-season friendly (which the Grecians won). That friendly was part of Guernsey’s preparation to play proper English domestic football, they went on to for the first time in a mainland league (Combined Counties League). It went well for them and they had a successful season, gaining promotion to the Ryman’s Isthmian League Division One South.
So, the next big step for Guernsey, was entry to the main FA competitions. However the FA are imposing strict financial terms for entry to the FA Cup and the FA Trophy.
The terms are non-negotiable and the Club have until Monday 24th June to confirm its place in the 2 competitions.
The FA has advised that if ‘The Green Lions’ want to play in the competitions, then not only does the club have to cover the
- cost of flights, accommodation and transport, of 25 members of the opponent’s team and the 3 match officials,
- give its opponents half of any net gate receipts without taking into account the travel and accommodation costs.
Guernsey FC Director and Football Secretary, Mark Le Tissier explains:-
To bring over the teams and officials will cost us about £6,000 which is acceptable. But as we have to split the gate receipts equally, it means we will need to take £12,000 gate receipts just to break even, which is a crowd of more than 2000. In this instance, the visiting club would not only have all their expenses paid, but leave the island with £6000 too. If we have an away fixture we have to cover all our costs and receive 50% of the net gate receipts.
The FA has also put in further stipulations that could hit the club financially.
- If the tie in Guernsey has to be postponed due to adverse weather, then the game will be replayed in the UK at a ground that Guernsey FC has to hire at its own cost before the following Thursday of the original fixture.
- If an away tie results in a draw, the replay will have to be played under the same conditions, in the UK at a ground hired by GFC. The FA has also stipulated that in order to play in the FA Cup, Guernsey FC has to play in the FA Trophy.
Guernsey FC Chairman, Steve Dewsnip says:-
This deal is just not viable for us to compete in the competitions without any additional financial support. But they are the terms that the FA has enforced and we have to comply with them if we’re to live the dream and play in the world’s most famous club competition.