Stamford AFC have been dealt a crushing body blow today (June 14) with the news the FA have overturned the club’s relegation reprieve.
The Daniels, who finished fourth from bottom in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League - in the last automatic relegation spot, were told on May 27 they would not drop down to the Northern Premier League Division One South because Southern League Division One, South and West champions Cinderford Town AFC rejected promotion leaving a position open in Step Three football for the next placed team. That was judged to be Stamford.
However the FA Board of Appeal have overturned the League Committee’s decision following an appeal from Evesham United, ruling they did not have the authority to accept the rejected promotion.
It means Stamford AFC, who have been preparing for the new season in Step Three, singing at least half a dozen players to the club in the last two weeks and setting up some tasty pre-season fixtures, including Wolverhampton Wanderers, will play a league lower than they had been planning for. And Cinderford - who appear to have imploded as a club with the chairman, manager and many players leaving, will be forced to play a league higher than they want.
The saga many not be over yet however as there is talk of Cinderford Town resigning from the league, once again leaving a spot vacant.
The FA ruling states:
“The Appeal Board decided that the Leagues Committee (LC) failed to apply the regulation relevant to clubs being promoted from Step 4 to Step 3 as winners of their division and, in particular, that accepting an application for non-promotion was not an option available to the LC.
Therefore, the Board exercised their right under Regulation 3.3(2) of the Regulations for Football Association Appeals to “exercise any power that which the body against whose decision the appeal was made could have exercised” and order that the original publication of the Club Allocations on the 12th May be re-instated with immediate effect. For the avoidance of doubt this order applies only to the situation affecting the decision surrounding Cinderford Town FC and other affected Clubs and does not affect any other decision determined by earlier Appeal Boards elsewhere within the pyramid.
To confirm, the following applies:
Club - Allocation
Cinderford Town FC - Southern League (Premier Division)
Corby Town FC - Northern Premier League (Premier Division)
Stamford AFC - Northern Premier League (Division One South)
Evesham United FC - Southern League (Division One South & West)
The decisions made by the Board of Appeal are final and binding on all parties.
Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division
Ashton United, Barwell, Blyth Spartans, Buxton, Coalville Town, Corby Town, Frickley Athletic, Grantham Town, Halesowen Town, Hednesford Town, Ilkeston FC, Marine, Matlock Town, Mickleover Sports, Nantwich Town, Rushall Olympic, Skelmersdale United, Spennymoor Town, Stafford Rangers, Stourbridge, Sutton Coldfield Town, Warrington Town, Whitby Town and Workington.
Evo-Stik NPL First Division South
AFC Rushden & Diamonds, Basford United, Bedworth United, Belper Town, Carlton Town, Chasetown, Gresley, Kidsgrove Athletic, Leek Town, Lincoln United, Loughborough Dynamo, Market Drayton Town, Newcastle Town, Northwich Victoria, Romulus, Rugby Town, Sheffield, Shaw Lane Aquaforce, Spalding United, Stamford, Stocksbridge Park Steels and Witton Albion.