The decision to host the Bluefin Sports Hellenic League Cup Final between Ascot United and Windsor at Ardley United in May provoked some controversy among supporters of both sides.
The journey is a 100 mile round trip from both Ascot and Windsor and the Hellenic League Events and Projects Officer Bill Beach has released a statement through Football in Bracknell, to try to explain the decision to host the fixture in Oxfordshire.
Mr Beach writes: Earlier in the season, all clubs were asked if they would be willing to host any of the six Hellenic League Cup Finals we hold.We had a number of positive replies and certainly more than we had finals.
The prospective hosts were discussed at an Executive meeting and due to there being more clubs than finals, we held a draw to determine which clubs would be successful.
There were other mitigating factors, such as not all clubs could host all finals, so allocation was done on availability. We then looked at the successful clubs and decided that Ardley United would be the best host for the Challenge Cup, as the only other Premier Division team that could host on either Saturday or Monday was Fairford Town and we thought Ardley was easier for clubs to access than Fairford.
I know it isn’t ideal as both finalists are in East Berkshire, but, at the time, there were two teams left in from Gloucestershire as well as those from Berkshire.
As a League, we wanted to get away from what’s happened in the past and allocate Cup Finals well in advance, rather than leave it until the finalists are known and then struggle to find a host.
I hope that this has gone some way to explain the League’s reasoning.