Booth plea for ‘fairer deal’

Brighouse Town FC's Mark Booth
Brighouse Town FC's Mark Booth
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Brighouse Town assistant manager Mark Booth has called for a fairer share out of football’s riches.

Town host Witton Albion this weekend in the Evo Stik Northern Premier having seen last Saturday’s game at home to Kendal washed out.

Booth said: “All the 10 matches in our division were wiped out and only two were played to the end in the Premier Division.

“Right from League 1 down through League 2, then the FA Trophy first-round proper, plenty of games were called off and this paints a very vivid picture.

“It tells you that grounds at the less well-off fully professional clubs, the National Conference and then into our Step 8 area, do not have the drainage levels required for this incessant wet weather.

“A much more proportionate amount of the money that is now awash at the top of the game – tens of millions per club in the Premier League and £7m per club in the Championship before it dips to under £1 in League 1 – has to 
find its way down to the grass roots.

“Stipulations can be put on the way it is spent but pitch maintenance and ground security and maintenance have to be priorities.

“Apart from FA Cup and FA Trophy monies, depending on how you progress, the handouts are under £3,000 per annum.

“Yet annually we have to meet league criteria and work on our grounds before kitting out the players and getting them to away fixtures, in our league from Durham to Cheshire.

“It does really need the All Parliamentary Group of Football MPs to look at this.”

Booth said one frustrations last week was that Town would have been picking from almost a full squad.

Tommy Cooney would have been in contention after being out since the November 21 game at Northwich and only Dan Illingworth and Steve Hollingworth remain on the injured list but they will be back early in January.

Brighouse will train again next Tuesday but then just play against Ossett Albion away on Boxing Day and Scarborough Athletic at home on Bank Holiday Monday.

Booth added: “We have a score to settle with Witton Albion, who had all the luck at their place back in September and ended up winning 4-1.

“Since then they have parted company with their manager and not been on the best of runs. They are currently 18th in the table to our eighth.

“They have just had one win in November but that was in their last game. For the past three weekends their matches have been postponed.”

Booth used his roofing company skills to waterproof the clubhouse at the Dual Seal Stadium this week.