Teams don't run Morrison, NFC do, says Thorne


Laurence Thorne insists organisers of the Peter Morrison Trophy have not made a mistake by making the Jewish FA Cup competition an open draw this season.

As the row over the format of this season’s National Cup rumbles on, Thorne believes teams are to blame rather than the administrators despite four clubs withdrawing without playing a match.

He said: “I agree there have been critics, but there have also been many happy teams prepared to continue.

“The National Football Committee changed one part of the tournament at the AGM. It was discussed at length to add a little spice to the competition, but all teams were clearly made aware of it.”

Last week we highlighted how Faithfold A were unable to send a team to Manchester to play Heaton Park Rovers, but Thorne claims this “didn’t constitute reverting back to the old system”.

He went on to say: “If teams envisaged a northern trip from round one being problematic, they shouldn’t have entered. Teams can’t expect to play every match on their own doorstep or dictate how the competition should be run.

"Of course, teams who withdraw from a fixture have the right to appeal their fines notice. But the NFC work tirelessly to ensure the PMT is planned well and reaches its conclusion, and this will happen again this season, with or without teams who wish to forfeit ties."

However, two leading chairman voiced their concerns about the new format. Temple Fortune chairman Nigel Kyte described the situation of teams withdrawing as “predictable”. He said: “The NFC’s decision was misguided in my opinion. The open draw is best left for the quarter-finals when teams are already on cup runs and would relish a trip up north in March or April.

"An open draw in the first round for ties in November and December is a no-brainer. The PMT used to be a prestigious competition, but I feel that this format error has tarnished it’s reputation."

Jonny Davis of South Manchester said: “Why is it northern teams travel, yet southern teams pull out? I fear the competition is on the way out."

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