|Recognised by Sport England as the Governing Body for Pool in England|
Following recent social media comments regarding the EPA 2021 tour events the National Committee would like to make the following statement.
Over the last 12 months the National Committee have been trying to protect the integrity of the Association by questioning the procedures, processes and practices the Association should have been using. These have led to a number of issues, which have left the Association in an extremely vulnerable position. Contracts have been signed by a number of individuals and not the Association, unfortunately, the nightmare scenario that the National had been so concerned with has now become a reality.
With only two weeks to go before the first EPA Tour event in Blackpool, with a deposit paid and all accommodation monies collected, the EPA are staggered to find that the EPA are now being inundated with refund requests from players regarding all tours. Upon contacting the hotel today, it has transpired that the contract was actually signed by Neil Toms as the client and not the English Pool Association going against the advice given to Mike Perkins from the National Committee.
No information has been allowed to be given to the EPA and the hotel is requesting that the EPA confirm in writing that the English Pool Association are no longer running this event.
The National Committee were constantly being reassured by both Neil Toms and Shirley Jewkes that rumours that had been circulating for some months regarding them taking the tours away from the EPA were false. New equipment and badges were ordered along with a new EPA laptop being collected which had been purchased for the person who sits in the Vice Chair.
The National Committee have now been contacted by members of our Association informing the National that players on these tours are being contacted by both Neil Toms and Shirley Jewkes (EPA members). These calls involved telling them that the EPA have made their jobs untenable, that they will now be running independent tours at the same venues, on the same dates, claims have also been made that the EPA were taking money from the tours. Tour budgets were actually produced by the Chair, Vice Chair and Neil Toms with no discussion with the National Committee at any stage. How can the English Pool Association have done this when only one event was run in 2020?
Accusations which are vehemently denied.
The English Pool Association actually injected £10,000 into the tour for 2019 to make sure of its survival yet today the equipment purchased by the Association was requested to be used at the first event!!!
To nullify suggestions that players will be banned if playing on these new tours the English Pool Association can confirm that there are NO such plans in place at this time.
The recent change of Officers will mean changes are having to be made to the EPA banking protocols and as you can appreciate this all takes time. All accounts and payments will need to be verified before the process of refunds can begin. The EPA ask you for your patience and understanding at this time whilst the National find out exactly how much damage the EPA as an Organisation will sustain from these incredible actions.
All those involved have been contacted by the EPA, yet only Mike Perkins has responded back to the National Committee with confirmation that he had resigned only in his capacity as the Chairman.
The English Pool Association can happily confirm at this point that the main Seniors Tour and Southern Seniors Tour will be going ahead for 2021 with the same dates and venues confirmed in place. The EPA are also looking at the Master’s Tour but please can all players bear with the Association at this time.
Barbara Taylor, EPA Acting Chair