Mike Derbyshire: Disgraceful weekend will be a low point for Yarmouth Town
Mike Derbyshire branded Yarmouth Town's failure to fulfil Saturday's fixture at Wisbech 'a disgrace' – but hopes it will prove to be the low point of what has been a crisis season so far.
Work commitments, injuries, illness and the current financial plight facing the Bloaters all conspired to leave the Ridgeons League Premier Division's basement side with only seven players available for their weekend trip to the Elgood's Fenland Stadium.
The league will meet to discuss what action, if any, will be taken against Yarmouth for the call-off – although those at The Wellesley expect to received a fine of up to �500, with the Fenmen set to be offered the choice of three points or rearranging the fixture.
However, that may be the least of the Bloaters' worries as people start to question whether the club can see out the rest of the season. Derbyshire is realistic but defiant.
'I cannot say it's not beyond the realms of possibility but how it looks at the moment, I was in touch with everybody at the club – players and officials – over the weekend saying there will be people thinking this is the final nail in the coffin for Great Yarmouth, and I see it as anything but,' said the Town boss, with the Bloaters' reserve team fixture at home to Gorleston also called off after the Wellesley pitch was deemed unplayable.
'My personal view and all I know from speaking to the chairman and officials, is that what Great Yarmouth are looking at is a new start on Boxing Day and we go forward from there. There is certainly no intention that the club would go out of business or pull out of the Ridgeons League or anything like that.
'It was a disastrous weekend and it was embarrassing really; a disgrace in many ways. But perhaps if people thought things couldn't get any more difficult for Yarmouth they realise now that they can, and that if we have reached the very bottom point then the only way is upwards.'
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A Boxing Day visit from neighbours Gorleston – Derbyshire's former club – should provide the ideal opportunity for Town to blow away some of the dark clouds around The Wellesley at present, although just one win from their 22 league fixtures this term is testament to how tough the season has been for the embattled manager.
'I wasn't going to leave our chairman and secretary to have to deal with all the problems, so I spoke to Steve Appleby (Wisbech manager) and he was very understanding really,' added Derbyshire.
'I have to say I appreciated that because they could have been very upset about it, but Steve just chatted with me.
'He's got a couple of players suspended and those will carry over to Boxing Day, which doesn't help him, but he just said you take these things on the chin – and I expect you're taking more on the chin than me at the moment.
'Various clubs understand the difficulties we're going through and we all know how tight finances are. Gorleston have expressed many times they have no interest in seeing anything other than Yarmouth become successful again because we both want to be in the same division and play our derbies. And I think with all the other local clubs, they just want to see us come out of what are very difficult and dark times.'