Watford angers non-league club by cancelling friendly last-minute

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Watford has drawn the ire of a non-league club after cancelling a friendly between the two clubs on the day before the match was scheduled to take place.

The Hornets were meant to send their U-23 team to take on Welwyn Garden City at Herns Lane just outside London, but they cancelled on Friday afternoon, just one day before the scheduled match on Saturday.

“We’re sad, disappointed and angry,” said a Welwyn Garden City statement. “Watford FC have conducted themselves in such a poor manner and with such naivety as to what this means for Welwyn Garden City FC. Everyone at WGC FC feel completely let down.”

The statement claimed Watford scheduled the match way back in May, but only alerted them to the possibility of a problem on Thursday evening, and then cancelled the match on Friday afternoon. Welwyn Garden said the cancellation caused them to suffer “a huge loss in revenue” without time to reschedule the game, and accused Watford of “another example of clubs and individuals at the elite levels having no interest in the way grassroots and non-league clubs function and the ramifications of their actions.”

Watford cancelled the match claiming they were unable to field a complete side, with a U-23 side beating a West Ham U-23 group on Friday. No word on why they scheduled to fixtures for the reserve team on back-to-back days or why they waited so long to call the game. The BBC attempted to contact Watford for a response but the club did not respond.

The Hornets’ first team is set to play Sampdoria on Saturday at Vicarage Road.