Hythe Town manager Steve Watt. Image credit: Ian Scammell
Annoyed Hythe Town boss Steve Watt has slammed some players in the Isthmian League’s southeast division for what he saw as “embarrassing” comments made on social media after matches were postponed due to the fuel crisis.
The 36-year-old ex-Chelsea player couldn’t understand people from other clubs suggesting the teams were ‘scared’ to play against others and said if it was one of his members who made such allegations, it would have been quickly trampled on.
Watt’s side were due to play against Faversham on Tuesday (September 28th) when both sides decided not to play, a move he wholeheartedly agreed with while applauding the league for giving the clubs a choice.
He said: “I’ve seen a lot of articles and a lot of things on social media from players at other football clubs and just find some of the things that have been said embarrassing,” Watt said.
“I’ve seen senior players, with a lot of experience in our league, accuse teams of being too scared to play them and I find that shocking. It’s like people have a livelihood you are asking people to drive maybe a few hours to watch a game when there is no guarantee they will have fuel to maybe take along their children to school or to work the next day.
“If it was younger players saying that, maybe I could half understand it because they are young and naive and don’t really know because they are so focused on their football.
“But when you get what I classify as senior players, who have experienced the game and played at higher levels, come out with some of the things that they have come out with, I find it really disappointing.
“If that had been one of my players, I would have dealt with it very harshly internally.”
Watt added: “For example, I have Will Godman and DJ [Darren] Oldaker traveling from Guildford [Surrey]. They are expected to travel to Faversham on a Tuesday evening and make all the way home. Will they then get to work the next day? I see it just as unnecessary use of fuel when there is plenty of time to reschedule matches at a later date.
“I mean fans can say whatever they want, but when players start saying it. There was no one involved in my games, it was other games. I just thought it was was really shocking Some people need to look in the mirror and think long and hard about what’s important in life.
“It’s a football game that can be played anytime and it’s not like it’s the end of the business season when the pressure is on. We’re only five or six games away.
Watt thinks the league has dealt with the issue in the right way and added: “I quite like that the league has given clubs choice. I found it quite welcoming that they let the clubs decide. Each case is different. Hythe and Faversham are not a million miles apart.
“If I had a lot of local players and Faversham had a lot of local players, maybe it would have been the case for the game to have been played. Are the players leaving work early? Are people not getting to the game on time because they are lining up for fuel? There are a lot of variables and the league handled that perfectly to be honest.
“I think you saw common sense throughout the league because every game ended up not being played.
“The majority agreed no matter how badly they wanted to play because there are things much more important to the minute and I just think in playing football common sense prevailed.
“I just found it disappointing that this is what football is about, that teams and clubs allow their players to post stuff like that on social media.”
Hythe has only made five league appearances so far, with three wins and two losses.
After being knocked out from the FA Cup and FA Trophy, they are next in action on October 16 when they host Three Bridges.
“All we can do until then is check off,” Watt said. “And we will. The players are in good shape. I hope we can catch up with some league games. It will be between ten and 15 when we know where we are in the table. Hopefully the fuel situation will have calmed down by the time we play again. “
Hythe Town FC plays in Hythe, Kent.