Axminster Town boss praises league over suspension

PUBLISHED: 10:55 17 March 2020

Action from Honiton Town v Axminster Town in the South West Peninsula League Premier Divison East. Picture: Sam Cooper

Action from Honiton Town v Axminster Town in the South West Peninsula League Premier Divison East. Picture: Sam Cooper

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Axminster Town manager Josh Stunell was full of praise for the South West Peninsula League secretary following its decision to suspend the competition.

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry IfeHoniton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife

He said: “First and foremost, South West Peninsula League secretary Phil Hiscox and the board deserve a huge amount of praise for making a swift and tough decision to suspend the SWPL.

“I was dumbfounded that the English FA did not take control of this situation and instead of showing strong professional leadership they simply passed the buck by telling the leagues to do what they thought was best and thus putting many league officials in really awkward positions.

“In truth I feel that once the Premier League and English Football League suspended football, the English FA should have instructed all leagues to do the same and with the various county associations following suit.

“Thankfully Mr Hiscox acted very swiftly, emailing all SWPL clubs to do a straw poll to gauge opinion, which turned out to be academic as the league made the correct decision to initially suspend football for 10 days.

“It’s moments like this when you really appreciate the professionalism and experience of Phil and the SWPL Board.

“Mr Hiscox was league secretary during the foot and mouth crisis (in 2001) that saw a football season being abandoned midway through so Phil is used to making emotive calls which are for the benefit of all the football community.

“Phil has already re-arranged the postponed fixtures, which again demonstrates the league have their finger on the pulse.”

“Hopefully by April 4 we will all have a clearer understanding of timescales etc. However we have a duty of care to all our local communities of which many are elderly and with existing health problems and we all must do what is right for them.

“To be honest, I’m glad it’s not me having to make the next call. However, whatever the decision the league comes to I will fully support it as they have demonstrated time and time again that they are exceptional operators.”

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