Two weeks after Ciderspace raised concerns about how the Southwest Challenge Cup Tournament 2008 was being promoted and publicised, (see News Page, 28th May), e-mailing the Press Officer, Heather Schofield, a series of points and questions, Errea has conceded there are problems.
Issued entirely in upper case, which always gives the impression of competence, or maybe not, Errea released this statement today :
"CRYSTAL PALACE PARTICIPATION.
WE ARE NOW AWARE THAT CRYSTAL PALACE ARE SENDING TWO SQUADS TO THE WEST COUNTRY FOR PRE-SEASON FRIENDLIES AND THE ERREA CUP COMPETITION.
THE LATEST INFORMATION WE HAVE IS THAT CP ARE NOW CONSIDERING WHICH TEAMS WILL FEATURE WHERE, NOW THAT THE ACTUAL ERREA CUP DRAW HAS BEEN MADE AND DATES ARE KNOWN.
AT THE EXEC COMMITTEE MEETING HELD YESTERDAY AFTER VISITS TO ALL THREE OF THE HOST CLUB GROUNDS, TO CHECK PROGRESS ON PITCH AND FACILITY DEVELOPMENT, A REQUEST RECEIVED FROM CP TO CONSIDER MOVING THE FIXTURES TO ENABLE NEIL WARNOCK AND SENIOR PLAYERS TO ATTEND THE GAMES WAS CONSIDERED. SUCH A DATE MOVE WOULD ENABLE CP TO PLAY THEIR OTHER ARRANGED GAMES IN CORNWALL.
WE HAVE INFORMED CP THAT WE ARE RELUCTANT TO CHANGE DATES AS WE HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN PROMISED BY NEIL WARNOCK THAT HE WOULD LIKE TO SEE HIS STRONGEST TEAM INVOLVED IN THE CUP COMPETITION. WE WILL HAVE A CLEARER PICTURE AND A DECISION BY THE END OF MONDAY AS TO WHICH SQUAD WILL ACTUALLY PLAY IN THE CUP AND ON WHICH DATES.
WE DO NOT WANT TO RISK LOSING CP TO THE COMPETITION AND ARE WILLING TO CONSIDER DATE CHANGES PROVIDED THAT THIS ENSURES THE STRONGEST AVAILABLE CRYSTAL PALACE TEAM PARTICIPATING.
IF CRYSTAL PALACE DOWNGRADE THEIR TEAM WE WILL REFER TO THE SIDE AS A CRYSTAL PALACE X1 SO AS TO ENSURE NO MISUNDERSTANDING WHATSOEVER BEFORE THE COMPETITION.
IN ALL OTHER RESPECTS, THE COMPETITION REMAINS UNCHANGED; ALL OTHER SQUADS HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED AND TWO TEAMS REMAIN ON STAND-BY TO STEP IN IF REQUIRED. AS A FURTHER UPDATE: ALL THREE GROUNDS LOOK IN SUPERB SHAPE AND I AM GRATEFUL TO THE HOST CLUBS FOR THE SUPERB EFFORT GOING INTO THE EVENT.
I UNDERSTAND THAT WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE FINAL, THERE ARE NOW ONLY TWO GAMES SEEKING SPONSORS, SUCH IS THE INTEREST IN THE COMPETITION.
I WILL KEEP YOU FULLY INFORMED OF ANY ENFORCED CHANGES BUT FOR NOW IT IS .... FULL STEAM AHEAD.
MARKETING EXECUTIVE. ERREA SOUTH WEST."
Subsequent to the item on 28th May Crystal Palace reconfirmed their take on their Friendly schedule again, on 6th June. It remained exactly the same as the initial announcement on the Palace Official Site that we had brought to Errea's attention nine days earlier.
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