After reading what has been written on the sports pages of the Herts Advertiser and subsequently on the Non League Daily website in recent days, Boreham Wood Chairman Danny Hunter has clarified the clubs recent signing of striker Inih Effiong from St Albans City.
‘The Wood’ Chairman cleared up any controversy concerning new signing Inih Effiong still being on contract with St Albans City, with Hunter insisting Effiong categorically doesn’t have a year of his St Albans City contract still to run. Writes John Mead.
‘The Wood’ Chairman said “It’s very simple really, Inih’s contract ran out on April 30th 2011, which was confirmed by the Football Association. St Albans say they offered him re-engagement terms, which is totally different to a player being on contract. If Inih was offered re-engagement terms, he did not accept or respond. Which means that 28 days after any re-engagement offer, a player is free to speak and sign for who he pleases – in Inih’s case, he chose us!”
“As for any deal St Albans may have had with Farnborough, that is totally irrelevant. Inih didn’t want to go there. He’s nineteen, he doesn’t drive, so he couldn’t get there on a fulltime basis. The fact he only lives 5 miles up the road from us in Hatfield was also a factor in his decision.”
“The Facts are simple, St Albans City or any club for that matter can only do a deal with a player’s acceptance and Inih said no to Farnborough.”
Hunter went on “Let’s be clear about Boreham Wood’s conduct, we only spoke to the player in mid July, ten weeks after the end of last season. Unfortunately since then I’ve had nothing but phone calls and threats of malpractice from St Albans City Chairman Ian Ridley, who doesn’t seem to want to listen or understand the rules set out by the F.A.”
“Mr Ridley has accused all and sundry of tapping up a contracted player and he cannot accept that after April 30th 2011, Inih clearly wasn’t contracted. He has failed to understand, that The F.A. rule book clearly states that when you offer or purport to offer a player re-engagement terms, if the player refuses those terms, he can talk to who he wants after 28 days have elapsed.”
“Mr Ridley has also left me messages on my phone accusing my secretary of falsifying a pre season team sheet at Billericay, which again is nonsense. Mr Ridley has accused BWFC of illegal payments to Inih, which after last year’s payment problems at St Albans City, is rather rich.”
“Their Chairman clearly has to grasp, that it is not in anyone’s interest for Boreham Wood Football Club and St Albans City, not to have a reasonable relationship, as we are neighbours for god sake!”
Hunter further went on “Another example of St Albans City’s double standards concerns a young player of ours Lee Close. We have developed Lee who is now an Under 18 England Schoolboy International. Lee has been with us for three seasons and as set out by The F.A. we offered him re-engagement terms. Lee however did not respond to us, as such Lee is now free to talk to whoever he wants to… The fact St Albans City played him against Ware in a pre season friendly, without consulting us, didn’t make me angry as I know and understand the rules. Unfortunately though for us, and the boy, Lee is now injured and faces up to six weeks of rehab…”
“All I’ve asked of Lee is that he speaks to whoever he is eventually going to sign for and let them know BWFC have offered him re-engagement terms, as laid out by The F.A… Unlike Mr Ridley, I did not begin to verbally bully a youngster. I certainly did not begin a website or media circus and I did not wrongly claim that I had a player contracted, when we are talking about re-engagements.”
The BWFC Chairman concluded “I have great respect for Saints secretary Steve Eames and I hope that ongoing relations between both ourselves and St Albans City can be improved.”
“I genuinely wish them every success and as for their new Chairman, he’ll be judged by the St Albans City supporters in what he achieves for the Saints on and off the field over the coming years, by the success he brings and the appointments he makes.”