Everyone should now be aware that the Final of the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup has been switched from Huntly to Fraserburgh. This decision, and the manner in which it has been handled, has been deeply embarrassing to Huntly Football Club.

The Huntly FC Board have therefore sanctioned a full and candid statement of the circumstances surrounding this decision.

We feel that our supporters should have a clear understanding of the sequence of events that have led to this situation.

The Management Committee of the Aberdeenshire FA (ADFA) met last Thursday 19th September. The agenda included an item to decide the venue of the Aberdeenshire Cup Final on October 19th.
Correspondence prior to the meeting confirmed that Inverurie Loco Works had expressed a preference for Christie Park as the final venue. Formartine United expressed a preference for The Haughs (Turriff) and then Princess Royal Park (Banff).

Huntly confirmed their willingness to host the final, and Turriff United and Deveronvale confirmed that they were not willing to hold the final due to corporate match day sales for their scheduled home fixtures on that day.
Formartine then put forward a proposal that Fraserburgh should be considered as a final venue as an alternative to Huntly. This went to a vote and Huntly were successful by a clear majority.

The question was raised as to whether the Scottish Highland Football League (SHFL) needed to be consulted as this would impact upon the Huntly v Wick Academy fixture on this day. The ADFA meeting accepted that this was not a requirement, and an announcement would be made in the media the following day at 11.30 am.

It was agreed that Huntly FC, would as a matter of courtesy, advise the SHFL Secretary, of the ADFA decision. Huntly also stated their willingness to reverse the fixture and travel to Wick on the day of the final.
The SHFL Secretary and the Secretary of Wick Academy were contacted by Huntly FC on the evening of September 19th to advise them of these developments, and to offer the fixture switch. The Wick Academy Secretary advised at this point that the matter would be put to their Officials for consideration. Wick subsequently confirmed that they were unwilling to reverse the fixture.

On Sunday 22nd an announcement was made on the Formartine website that the Final had been switched to Bellslea Park (Fraserburgh ).
The officials of Huntly FC had absolutely no knowledge of this decision, and immediately set about establishing if this indeed was the case.

It transpired that the SHFL had established through a 'minute' agreed in 2002 that the ADFA could not force a fixture change without the willingness of the clubs involved.
As Wick Academy were not willing to accept the fixture change, the final could not take place at Huntly.

The ADFA officials as a result of this coming to light made the decision in consultation with Inverurie Loco Works , Formartine United, and Fraserburgh to change the Final venue to Bellslea Park. Huntly were not consulted in any way during this process.

On Monday September 23rd the Huntly FC Chairman issued a written demand to Formartine United to change the content of their website announcement which was considered to be defamatory towards Huntly FC. This was acknowledged, and we received an unconditional apology from Formartine United regarding the original content of the announcement.

Huntly FC also issued a letter to members of the ADFA expressing in the strongest possible terms our disappointment at the manner in which this had been handled and communicated.

A further meeting of the ADFA Management Committee was called and this took place last night on Tuesday 24th September. The Final venue was confirmed as Fraserburgh at this meeting.

Huntly FC expressed disappointment towards the ADFA officers at being excluded from the consultation process which resulted in the Final venue being switched.

It was also established that Formartine United had acted without authority in making the announcement prior to other ADFA clubs being updated.

Huntly requested and will receive a formal apology from Formartine United, for the manner in which this matter was handled, and the deep embarrassment which this has caused our club to suffer.
We have also made the ADFA aware of the financial losses which we are likely to incur as a result of switching a sold out corporate ladies day to later in the season. We now have less than four weeks to fill the corporate packages for the game with Wick Academy, a fixture we would expect to sell out given time to sell this event.

We trust that this gives our club's supporters a full and detailed insight as to why we find ourselves in this position, and answers the many questions that have already been put to Huntly officials since the Formartine United announcement last Sunday.

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