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Fixture Pile-Up

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 20/09/2000

Grimsby and Wolves are at odds at when the 1st leg of the Worthy Cup 2nd round match between the two teams should go ahead. The two clubs will be probably end up going to the Football League to arbitrate their dispute. Adding to the complication are doubts over the next 2 fixtures between the clubs.

Town want to play the re-arranged game next Tuesday as that is Grimsby's "regular" night for midweek fixtures. Wolves, however, who are playing a Sunday League game that weekend would like the extra day to allow their players to recover. The date of the second leg and the scheduled league match at Wolves just three days later are also under great doubt. The logical date for the Worthy Cup tie is the week after next when neither club has a game arranged in midweek. However Wolves have several international players due for call ups to the two-legged World Cup qualifiers which will take players away from their clubs for up to ten days. The Wolves players concerned will depart following the league game against Forest on September 30th. Wolves players Lee Naylor, Ryan Green, Carl Robinson, Temuri Ketsbaia and Sami Al-Jaber are all likely to face international call-ups for either their full national sides, or at Under-21 level. The players would be departing the weekend before the likely date for the second leg, giving Wolves a very strong case for opposing the game to be played in 2 weeks time. To make matters worse for the Mariners, the league fixture against Wolves due on October 6th is also thrown under doubt for the same reasons! With Town already having played one less game than most of the other first division teams (due to Wimbledon's international call-ups last month), and the prospect of 2 further matches being delayed, a fixture congestion is beginning to pile up - in September! A spokesman for Wolves tonight said: "It's very, very complicated and I cannot say anything for certain at the moment - other than the fact that we will play at Grimsby next week. But goodness only knows when the second leg will be staged."

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