Wharton calls for better chairman conduct

Last updated : 09 September 2012 By Luke Thornhill
"Held to ransom"

Sky TV's decision to broadcast the FA Cup replay between Carlisle United and SUFC meant that our trip to face Hartlepool would have to move back to it's original Saturday date.

The game had been brought forward at the request of Hartlepool because they feared their supporters would rather go christmas shopping than watch them play.

As the `Money Hangers` claimed they would lose out financially, pointing to corporate sponsors, both SUFC and CUFC agreed some kind of compensation would be a sensible compromise.

The first offer made to Hartlepool United would have seen both clubs pay £10K, this was declined. The second offer of £10K plus expenses was also rejected. A third offer of £12.5K from each was rejected - this would have seen them receive £25K in total.

At five to five they sent a fax to CUFC and SUFC insisting on £25K from each party, meaning they would get a total of £50K. The timing meant that no further negotiating could take place, and the offer was reluctanlty accepted by the chairmen of SUFC and CUFC.

Throughout the day neither Steve Wharton or John Courtenay (the chairman of CUFC) were able to contact Hartlepool's chairman Ken Hodcroft

Earlier this week Courtenay went public on our sister site CUFC Online to condemn Hartlepool, saying that the next time Hartlepool ask his club for a favour then they needn't waste their time asking.

CUFC had also agreed to move the kick off of their visit to Victoria Park, due on New Years day, at their request.

"What I really think about this whole matter is almost unprintable," Wharton told the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph.

"I have not been so upset about anything for a long time, it beggars belief.

"They have held us to ransom, we were quite happy to oblige when they asked us to bring the game from the Saturday afternoon to Friday night.

"They felt it would attract a bigger crowd and help bring them in some bigger revenue.

"But the did not want to know when it came to us asking them to switch."

Wharton revealed that he has still not been able to speak to the Hartlepool chairman, and like Courtenay will not be sitting in the directors box this Saturday.

"I do not know what possible motive Hartlepool had for not agreeing to switch when we promised them full compensation," added Wharton.

"It's as though they did not want us or Carlisle to benefit from the SKY money.

"I know there are a lot of strange people involved in football, but I cannot believe there are many like this.

"I shall be writing a very strong letter to every chairman in the Football League suggesting that it is time we looked at a code of conduct for chairmen."

In a statement, Hartlepool chairman Ken Hodcroft claimed that they did not want to ask for compensation.

"We tried to switch the game to sunday but were refused by the police and so were forced to play on Saturday," he said.

"We expect to lose a considerable amount of money at the turnstale, through sponsors who were unable to make the switch etc.

"We reluctantly accepted the move but felt it appropriate to ask both clubs to contribute towards compensation us - after all they are both receiving £100K."

In a letter to the Football League Hartlepool have asked to receive their payments immediately after SUFC and CUFC receive their money from Sky.