The FA Cup Preliminary Round fixtures are just around the corner but there has been some controversy surrounding the tie between Reading City and Moneyfields which had been switched to Hampshire.
Reading City had been looking for an alternative venue for the fixture. The clubs ground is taken over every year by workers at Reading Festival who camp around the pitch for the duration of the Bank Holiday weekend – a condition in the clubs lease.
The Citizens have released a statement on the clubs website stating they had found alternative arrangements to host the game at Henley Town on grass or at a club with an artificial surface, but that their opponents had taken the decision out of their hands.
The statement by the club reads: “We deeply regret the decision taken by Moneyfields to contact the Football Association, it’s actions like these which are killing the game we all know and love.
“As a club we have been trying all week to gain and alternative venue, however Moneyfields haven’t shown us any support and instead informed us that they would not play on a 3G surface, limiting our options of finding an alternative venue, once we did secure a venue with a grass pitch we were informed of the decision as per their contact with the Football Association that we are out of time and that the fixture would be played at Moneyfields.
“This is totally against the spirit of the Emirates FA Cup”.
Moneyfields have tweeted simply: “IMPORTANT INFORMATION. This coming Saturdays FA CUP fixture Vs Reading City has been MOVED to Moneyfields FC due to issues with the Reading Citys ground.”
Reading beat Windsor 3-0 at Stag Meadow in the Extra Preliminary Round and face a tough fixture at Moneyfields – the Portsmouth based side play at step 4 in the BetVictor Southern League Division One South, the same division as Thatcham Town. Any replay of the fixture would also be at Moneyfields.