By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
The Scarborough Athletic board of directors have accepted the decision by the FA to place them into the Evo Stik Division One South next season.
Supporters of the NCEL Premier Division champions were stunned by Friday’s announcement and used message boards to vent their anger.
Whilst disappointed with the decision, the Scarborough board admit that a successful appeal would be unlikely and have found some positives.
The statement also states their intention to try and win promotion at the first attempt.
The statement read:
“The SAFC board of directors had previously gone on record to say that we believed our supporters would (on balance) prefer us to be allocated to First Division (North), and that the board would consequently endorse such an allocation. However, although we have a number of anecdotal examples where clubs have successfully been reallocated to other divisions and even to other leagues, there are compelling reasons why we will not be appealing against our unexpected allocation to the Northern Premier League First Division (South).
“Some of these reasons were exercised last year when we opposed proposals to reallocate SAFC from NCEL to the Northern League as part of the Step 5 restructuring initiative. There was also the precedent successfully put forward by Bridlington Town to join First Division (South) if they had secured promotion from NCEL.
“Given these precedents, we do not believe that SAFC has a strong enough case at this time to appeal successfully to the FA Leagues Committee to reverse their decision (although a move back to Scarborough may present us with suitable grounds to be reallocated should we decide that it is essential to our well being and survival as a club at some point in the future).
“It should also be noted that there are many positive advantages to our club of remaining in First Division (South). It is likely that our overheads will be lower, our manager will be better able to assemble and retain a successful squad; and we are satisfied that there are definite geographical, organisational and logistical benefits to our club competing in the south of the Northern Premier League catchment area.
“The club is determined that it will become a positive, ambitious and enthusiastic member of our allocated league, and we are sure that other clubs in the division will be as eager to welcome an ardent newcomer with the pedigree of Scarborough as their northern counterparts would have been. In any event, should we secure promotion to the Premier Division (be it next year or in subsequent years) our impassioned arguments over north versus south will vanish overnight as we visit bigger and stronger clubs throughout the entire Northern Premier League catchment area.”