World of Sport

Team asked to play six games in six days

World of Sport

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Premier League sides often complain about their fixture schedules, but they have nothing on non-league side Bacup Borough - who have been asked to play their final six league games in six days.

A combination of weather problems and good runs in cup competitions has led to the North West Counties Premier League side's unprecedented fixture pile-up.

"We've been playing catch-up from the first month of the season," the team's manager Brent Peters told BBC Sport.

"We were five games behind other clubs in our league without (before) having a game called off because of the weather.

"The early rounds of the FA Cup and FA Vase begin in the second or third week of the season."

The league's deadline for completing fixtures is this Saturday, but Bacup were given an extension until next Monday.

However,  as their final match against Colne clashes with the Manchester derby, it is likely to be brought forward to Sunday which will see the club play six matches in six days.

"It's not just us. Other teams who have been successful are having the same problem," said Peters.

"The powers-that-be won't challenge the FA on their guidelines for when the season ends.

"Nobody can predict the weather. We're in April and we're having horrendous weather.

"When the weather turns and teams are successful in cups, it impacts on their league programme.

"It's putting intolerable pressure on players and staff. We've got to wash the players' kit, get the ground prepared, get the catering sorted and we're asking supporters to come and watch us every night of the week.

"All the emphasis in modern day football is all about warm-downs and getting the right rest before the next game.

"(And the FA are) asking lads to get up at 5am, do a day's work, and then go and play a competitive game of football every night in the week."

Bacup's run got off to a bad start as they lost 2-0 to AFC Blackpool on Tuesday but the club has at least already secured survival for next season.

"Two lads have already texted me to tell me that their legs are in bits, and that's only after one game. It's a ridiculous situation to be in," concluded Peters.

If they players can still stand after their epic run of games they do at least have a cup final to enjoy against Maine Road in the North West Counties Challenge Cup final on Thursday May 3.

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