Alex Aviram, the manager of Woodford Wanderers, has promised not to pull his club out of the Maccabi League this season following a row with league officials over a fine for a missing corner flag.
The team were suspended prior to last weekend’s Division One match against Temple Fortune A as a result of outstanding fines. The game was consequently awarded to Fortune.
Woodford were fined £5 for not having a fourth corner flag at one of their early games at their home ground at Redbridge Sports Centre. The figure increased to £50 after the club failed to respond to the original penalty notice.
Woodford club secretary Daniel Segal claims that he did not receive notification of the fine after his work email was closed after leaving his job. But he failed to notify the league.
Aviram said: “I think it’s ridiculous that we lost a game over a fine for something so minor. The penalty was too harsh. I’m disappointed but I’m not going to fold the club.
“I’ve got 22 fantastic boys who all want to stick together and play football. It’s a shame they will have one less match to play. I think it could have been handled better, but if it means that it’ll keep everyone happy, I’ll pay the fine and move on.”
Segal held up his hands for the administration error but believes that the punishment was too harsh. “I take full responsibility for missing the emails,” he said. “By the letter of the law, the league was right to fine the club but I just feel as though they’re trying to make an example of us.
“If it was my decision I would fold the club out of principle and move elsewhere, but that would be criminal.”
League chairman David Wolff said: “Woodford have caused all sorts of problems over this unpaid fine. At no time did they tell us of a change of email address.
“I want them to be playing football, not suspended or losing games. The whole thing is down to them, not us.”
Update: David Wolff, the chairman of the JC MSFL, confirmed on Friday morning that Woodford Wanderers have now settled the fine and the suspension has been lifted. They will now play Redbridge Jewish Care A in the cup on Sunday as scheduled.