By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Cash-strapped Hucknall Town could be set to drop out of the Northern Counties East League before the new season even starts.
The news leaves the NCEL Constitution for the 2013-14 season in complete disarray and it is very possible that the Premier Division will have to operate with 23 teams.
Hucknall believe the Central Midlands League might be a more suitable league for them to compete in considering the amount of travelling there is in the NCEL.
Their statement completes a spectacular fall from grace for the 2004 Northern Premier League champions and 2005 FA Trophy finalists.
A Hucknall Town statement said: “The club are currently in discussion with Northern Counties East League and the Central Midlands League with regards to which league the club has a realistic chance of being able to compete it next season. The clubs debts have been well documented.
“Complex negotiations with creditors of the club continue regarding both financial arrangements and the legal status of the club continue. The club has received notification from its landlords Bolsover properties that they will now not allow the reassignment of the lease for the ground to a new limited entity until terms of the ground relocation agreement are renegotiated between the two parties.
“With talks set to continue well into the start of the next season with Bolsover Properties, Ashfield District Council and the clubs creditors we have reached this decision with a heavy heart however we feel this is the only decision there is to take in order to stabilise the clubs position both on and off the pitch. The NCEL league is set to be an extremely difficult league to compete it and with a limited expense budget and significant travel. The club is not in a position to increase its financial burden by trying to play football at an higher status than it can possibly afford.
“Duncan Russell and Paul Hall are aware of the situation and continue to support the club. It would be a heart breaking decision for the club to take such a big drop however if that is what is required for the club to survive and rebuild its fan base then whilst it is a very tough decision it will have to be taken.
“If anyone wants to have their say and have their opinions heard members of the committee will be available for an open meeting on Saturday afternoon 6th July at 1:00pm to answer any questions.”