Ambitious Basford United chairman Chris Munroe has asked his players and management to help refund supporters after a “totally unacceptable” 8-3 home defeat.
Munroe spoke out immediately after Saturday’s loss to Hyde United — their heaviest at home for more than 50 years.
He apologised to the 237 spectators at the Evo-Stik NPL match and offered them free admission to Saturday’s fixture against title favourites South Shields.
“I’d just like to make an apology to all our fans; everybody that came here today,” he said. “We will refund everybody’s admission from today and I’ve asked the players and the managers to bear the brunt of that.”
Munroe said he accepted the club was struggling with injuries, but added that was not an excuse for the performance the club described as terrible.
The following day the club issued a further statement, saying they had been missing seven established first-team
players, while a further five had been “suffering from the remnants of a flu bug but were advised they (were) needed to play due to the stretched nature of the squad.”
The statement said: “Whilst not exonerating the level of performance it does partially explain a lack lustre and fatigued performance in many quarters.
“In hindsight the club should have requested a late fixture cancellation due to unprecedented circumstances and, failing this request, put out academy players to fill the absentees.
“Basford United have not lost a game by a scoreline like this for over 50 years. It was a clearly a scoreline not representative of the current campaign and all officials, management and players have been deeply upset by this.
“The club is committed to its targets for this season and whilst we have an incredible difficult home game on Saturday versus title favourites South Shields, then we as a collective will do everything in our power to get back on track over the next few weeks, when a normality of fitness and availability will return.”
The statement confirmed the refund offer to all fans who attended the Hyde match.
It added: “Season ticket holders have the option to either claim a free meal or advise turnstile (operators) that the club donate applicable money to charity. Any non-season ticket paying spectators who our turnstile operatives can verify will again have the option of free entry or likewise to pay and (ask) the club to donate their amount to charity.
“The club remains incredibly upbeat and we ask our support base to continue to be likewise.”
On Saturday evening Munroe said: “Yes, it’s very disappointing. You can live by results but you can’t live by performance and application. (I am) very disappointed. We had quite a few people missing but you shouldn’t use that as an excuse, especially when we’ve got so much talent and experience in the squad.”