YOUNGSTERS missed out on a prestigious football presentation due to a feud between the chairman of the club and a former manager. Letchworth GC Eagles held its annual awards evening at Plinston Hall and although more than 400 players attended, 17 did not
YOUNGSTERS missed out on a prestigious football presentation due to a feud between the chairman of the club and a former manager.
Letchworth GC Eagles held its annual awards evening at Plinston Hall and although more than 400 players attended, 17 did not receive an invite.
Richard Mountney, former manager of the under 14s, recently started his own club after parents complained the Eagles yearly subscription was too high.
He said: "The Eagles charge £60 a year and another club in the area charges £30 so you can understand why the parents are inquisitive as to why they are paying so much."
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With a yearly subscription of £40, the newly-created Garden City Rangers attracted 17 players from the Eagles.
Tensions ran high when these 13 and 14-year-olds were excluded from the Eagles awards ceremony for the 2005-06 season and a dispute between Mr Mountney and Tony Eden, chairman of the Eagles, has rumbled on since May.
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Mr Eden said: "A few weeks before the big event Richard told me they wouldn't be attending and they were having their own presentation.
"I thought we had posted the boys their invites but, on reflection, Richard told me I was wasting my time so it's a possibility they didn't get them. If they are definitely not going to come, what's the point of wasting a stamp?
"Richard made it crystal clear they wouldn't be going and I didn't want to undermine his authority."
Mr Mountney has since asked the club for the trophies so his team can have their own presentation but this request has been refused.
He said: "I was told if they sign to the Eagles for next year then they can get their trophies. It's emotional blackmail."
He added: "I'm so shocked that one person can behave like this. It's just disgusting and disgraceful. The trophies don't belong to him. The parents have paid for them in their subscription for the year."
Mr Eden told The Comet the trophies were posted to the individual players last weekend, to prevent a presentation taking place.
He said: "Once we say people can have their own ceremony then we start losing the club's identity. As a club we are very concerned that we want to keep our club ethos and that's the heart of the whole thing. We don't have any problem with the boys leaving."
Mr Mountney still intends to hold a small presentation for his team tomorrow (Friday) after buying trophies out of his own pocket.