I’m not going to watch my team (West Ham United). I’m not going to support them – I’m going to support a local non-league team and I’m going to cancel my Sky Sports, says Beckenham Town assistant Billy Walton

Thursday 02nd April 2020

BECKENHAM TOWN assistant manager Billy Walton says he will be cancelling his Sky Sports subscription to protest against the Football Association’s decision to null and void his sides promotion-chasing campaign.

The Eden Park Avenue club were sitting top of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table and battling it out in an exciting five-club title race before the season was suspended by the coronavirus outbreak, before The Football Association treated non-league football with disrespect by nulling and voiding club’s campaigns below the three divisions of the National League.

“Are they all going to get compensated? They’re not going to phone up the Premiership or email and null and void their season.  The Premiership would have to give back next season’s season tickets, they will be free,” said Walton.

“Non-League and grassroots football gets a bashing and all of the super-rich club’s carry on. It doesn’t affect them. They get £100m if they get relegated, or £150m for winning the league but Beckenham Town don’t get nothing!

“It’s heart breaking for someone like (club secretary) Peter Palmer, who has dedicated himself for god knows how long to get the club promoted and work tirelessly and the manager Jason Huntley, who works tirelessly, who helps fund the club and then you’ve got the chairman Paul Faires who has put in ex amount of pounds to get us into a position to get promoted.

“How anyone can say Beckenham Town doesn’t deserve to get promoted after being top for 22 weeks of a 30 week season, there’s only eight weeks of the season when we haven’t been top.

“I think they definitely have to do a rethink, it’s definitely not the fairest way to do it.

“I think the fairest way is to try to complete the season. If not try to complete the season, in our league, me personally, I think it only affects the top two in terms of Points Per Game, which we would lose that because we would drop to second and Corinthian would be champions.

“To null and void the season is the third choice for me.

“In terms of financially, if I give you ex amount of pounds to do a job and you don’t complete it, I’m not going to pay you the money - you’ve not completed it!”

This entire situation proves that The Football Association doesn’t care about non-league football or its hard-working people who put in the hard graft for the love of the game, often without any financial reward.

“Yes, 100%.  They’re not worried about Beckenham Town or day I say Metrogas, you play on a tiny little place down Eltham.  They’re not worried about that. It’s not their problem. The FA aren’t interested in one bit,” claimed Walton.

“What they don’t understand, people are aspiring to get their club’s promoted and people are putting in their money and their reward to get promoted and try to get their way through the pyramid, like Wimbledon did all those years ago.”

Walton urges you to ditch your television subscriptions and support your local non-league clubs instead next season.

“Cancel your Sky Sports! If you get millions of people cancelling then they realise they’ve done something wrong and don’t go to a Premiership game and go to a grassroots game.

“I’m not going to watch my team (West Ham United). I’m not going to support them – I’m going to support a local non-league team and I’m going to cancel my Sky Sports.

“Sky tv money funds the Premier League so their revenue through the gate is nothing to a Premiership club. They can survive on zero attendance with Sky Sports money.

“So if every non-league football fan who thinks this isn’t fair, or people involved in grassroots, cancel your Sky Sports and they will definitely do something about it!

“I just look at not just at Beckenham Town, the whole structure of non-league football and the people involved, all the hard work and the effort of everyone and to just say it’s null and void and finished, we want The FA to pay all the money we paid out!

“I’m not accepted the decision and I hope people do read some of my comments in terms of cancelling their Sky Sports.

“That’s the only way they’ll pay attention, I won’t be watching any of it!

“This is a real kick in the teeth and you’ve had loads of kicks in the teeth in football year-in-year-out.

“I think all these people at the top (at The Football Association) are a bunch of pen pushers, none of them have played football or know what it means to do a days work and then go and train like all of us. You get up between five and six o’clock in the morning and you work in all sorts of weather and you work in your lunch break so you can leave for football early and travel down to Deal and places like that.

“You train through all weather, through thick and thin and we haven’t got loads of facilities and just paying for the expense of the training facility and you pay a lot of money and that’s all gone to waste.

“We all put up with it because we love the game so much and that’s our enjoyment and it’s quite disappointing really.

“I would be saying this even if we were midtable. If you’re a true football person you can’t deny that Beckenham Town and Corinthian deserve to be promoted because quite a few of the scenarios work in their favour.  If everyone played the same amount of games we’d still be in the top two.

“The main goal all season, our number one priority was to win the league and to get promoted and that’s what I believe we would have done and we would still if they didn’t null and voided the season.

“The FA should be made to pay all the expenses of every non-league club.  Say if our League have taken £10,000 in fines, hypothetically, what do they do? Do they give the fines back? Pay everyone back for everyone’s bookings and suspensions.”