Fisher player Robert Brown tells landlords Millwall Community Trust to fix the lights for the players, fans and managers sake!

Wednesday 21st August 2019

FISHER footballer Robert Brown has called for landlords the Millwall Community Trust to fix the floodlights at St Paul’s Stadium.

Fisher’s game in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division against Erith Town was abandoned at half-time as referee Ross Mortimer deemed the pitch to be in an unplayable condition due to the number of bulbs not working at the venue.

Fisher's St Paul's Stadium ground was plunged into darkness by poorly maintained floodlighting, which forced the half-time abandonment of their game against Erith Town last night.
Photo: Andy Robinson

The score was 0-0 at the time of the abandonment.

Alarm bells should have been ringing when this website reported on Fisher’s 3-0 defeat to a Millwall XI on Friday 12 July 2019.

“Hopefully, Millwall Community Trust who run the stadium, will replace the many floodlight bulbs that no longer work at this facility because the middle of the pitch was dark.”

Sadly, going by a photograph posted on Twitter by Andy Robinson, the situation at the venue hasn't improved, which will be a concern for the Southern Counties East Football League.

Brown took to Twitter to contact Millwall Community Trust directly, saying, “Please for the love of good fix the lights for the players, fans and managers sake!

“Fisher pay thousands in rent per year and our games get abandoned due to poor maintenance.  Surely if Fisher FC get a fine, this is sorted by Millwall Community Trust.”

A Fisher statement said: “Fisher FC would like to apologise to everyone in attendance at St Paul’s last night for the half-time abandonment due to floodlight failure of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division fixture against Erith Town.

“Fisher FC is currently the tenant at St Paul’s. The club first notified the managing agent of the ground, Millwall Community Trust, of issues with some of the floodlights a number of months ago and has followed up on a regular basis.

“While some of the floodlights have been repaired, it was clear last night that others, and in particular the lights by the dugouts, no longer function at all.

“The club has followed up with Millwall Community Trust once more as a matter of urgency today.

“The club has also contacted League with regard to the abandonment. We do not yet know what the consequences will be for last night’s match.

“However, in the event that the match is rescheduled, Fisher FC will offer everyone who was in attendance last night free entry to the rearranged fixture. We will provide a further update when we have more information to share.”

Ashford United’s Isthmian League South East Division game against Ramsgate, which was scheduled for last night has been re-arranged for Tuesday 1 October 2019 due to the poor state of the floodlighting at Homelands Stadium.

“Everyone at Ashford United has been fully aware of the problems facing us with our out of date pitch floodlighting,” said a club statement. 

“A program was put in place to overhaul the current installation two years ago but after several attempts and costly repairs it was established that the switchgear installed 30 years ago was now beyond repair. Parts were now obsolete and impossible to change.

“Following the club’s attendance at last year’s League AGM, we were persuaded by the FA Football Foundation to apply for a grant to totally renew the lighting for our entire floodlighting system and were given instructions as to their requirements.

“This coincided with the FA directive regarding the LUX or lighting levels if the club were to get promoted. The directive was to increase our LUX levels by at least 60% or we would not be compliant.

“We obtained many quotes and reports and settled for the best upgrade to satisfy all League and FA requirements. We made the formal application along with quotes to the FA as per their request last October.

“We were told on a number of occasions that the lights would be started by January this year. More importantly for the grant paying for our lights with a cost of £30,000 we were not allowed to touch or do any work on the lights till the grant had been approved by the FA.

“This contribution to our club is a massive help and for that we thank the FA Football Foundation for this support.

“However, the delays kept coming putting the club under enormous pressure as the new season got closer and closer.

“The Isthmian League directors were fully supportive towards Ashford United, understanding it was out of our control and indeed pressurised the FA to finalise our application with evening games looming.

“Tuesday just passed we finally got the ok and the FA instructed the replacement of our floodlight system which was very welcome.

“Unfortunately, the appointed contractor has other commitments and with just over one week needed to complete the contract at Homelands a start date is fixed for a couple of weeks’ time and we can’t complain after them waiting for the FA for so long.

“The League is, of course, fully supportive of our position and now we have the go ahead we can move rapidly to alleviate any backlog in fixtures.

“The club understands there are a few supporters that wish to know everything but anyone sensible should understand the club did not want any bad comments made regarding the FA Foundation etc. as it could have hindered our application even more so. For those that are desperate to know about our floodlight situation we hope this statement clarifies the club’s situation, if not then please take the time to talk to any club management who will openly explain the situation.”

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