MSFL manager calls for chairman to quit

By Danny Caro, May 6, 2010
Chairman: David Wolff

Chairman: David Wolff

The Maccabi League was plunged into turmoil after its longest-serving manager called for chairman David Wolff to resign after his team were fined and lost points over a match that was not played because of a double-booking.

Justin Rockberger, the manager of first division Camden Park, is set to appeal to the London FA over a £100 fine and demand that the team's match against Brady Maccabi be replayed.

The game in Barnet did not go ahead because of a mix-up with Faithfold. Camden turned down the chance to move the match on to a nearby 3G pitch, claiming that "their players had incorrect footwear" to play on the artificial surface.

Following an angry email exchange, an irate Rockberger resigned from his post and believes that Wolff should do the same. "Personally, I think he should step down as chairman," said Rockberger. "He should let someone else breathe some life into the decaying league. I hope that he takes a long look at the league this season and realises that his own performance leaves a lot to be desired."

Rockberger also slammed the league management committee for their dling of the episode, accusing them of "incompetence". He claims that he only found out about the penalty after an email from MSFL Fixtures Secretary Nigel Burns. The manager could not see the rescheduled match on the league website and was informed by Burns, who said: "Camden were charged for postponing a game without permission. An appeal never came through on time so the game was awarded to Brady and they have been fined accordingly."

Rockberger hit back. "I informed the league the same day and explained what happened. They immediately rescheduled the game and I thought that was it, there was no problem. I had no idea that Brady had lodged a complaint.

"Surely someone from the management should have called me to find out what happened rather than just dish out charges and fines.

"The bottom line is that we did absolutely nothing wrong. We had a pitch booked and wanted to play the game. We were fined for something that totally wasn't our fault. This is just another painful experience of dealing with the management committee."

Faithfold's Ben Lewis said: "There is no way that Camden were at fault for circumstances on the day."

But Wolff believes that the team are blaming others for the simple reason that Rockberger did not open the email. He said: "Camden can't blame everyone else because they ignored the fine notice, which they had every opportunity to appeal against and openly admitted that it wasn't opened. It is entirely their fault."

The fall-out comes towards the end of a season in which six teams have folded from the league. Rockberger said: "If that's the way the league wants to treat a team of 40-year-olds that have been playing in the MSFL since 1991, then fine. This is the sort of 'care' the league has for its teams, so no wonder so many have pulled out.

"This season has been an absolute shambles and I can now fully understand the teams that resigned from the league who talked about the total lack of support from the MSFL management."

Last updated: 12:14pm, May 7 2010