Wisbech sandwich scandal

Non-League notebook
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The Independent Online
Non-League notebook

Wisbech Town, one of East Anglia's most respected non-League clubs, were suspended from the Jewson (Eastern Counties) League last week, writes Rupert Metcalf. Not for the usual crimes, in such cases, of financial mismanagement or for fielding unregistered players - but for their failure to attend meetings to answer complaints about a lack of sandwiches and other hospitality for visiting teams and officials.

The League's handbook lays down the law in this matter: "Complimentary teas must be provided for players, match officials and visiting league and club officials pre-match, half-time and again at full-time. It is also expected sandwiches, biscuits and other light refreshments will be served to league and club officials at half-time and full-time, and to match officials and players at full-time."

Wisbech, it seems, did not play ball - complaints were received by the league from some match officials and away teams that the snacks were not up to scratch. That alone did not lead to their ban - but when the required number of officials did not attend two meetings called by the league to discuss the problem, the Cambridgeshire club were suspended by the league's management committee.

That ban was lifted at a meeting in Diss last night - but Wisbech were fined an undisclosed amount for missing the earlier meetings and were given a suspended fine for the catering problems. "We've had a fair hearing," George Campion, their chairman, said, "and we've been punished. Things will be better from now on."

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