Something we’ve loosely been following but Fleet Town’s appeal over their transfer from the Bostik League to the Evo Stik Southern League on Monday.
The Blues had been due to kick off the 2018/19 season in the same division as Bracknell Town, Marlow and Egham Town but were informed they were being transferred at the start of June.
The club tweeted a picture of the front of this weeks Fleet & Yateley News & Mail which reports that should the appeal be lost on Monday, the club may be forced to withdraw from the Southern League and would face a two division deduction – the same thing that happened to Andover Town and caused Fleet’s late shift.
The News & Mail front page quotes club secretary Richard Whittingham, who says the club had already appointed a manager with the Bostik League geography in mind. He said: “Our longest away game was going to be Ware at 70 miles but now it’s Banstaple or Bideford in Devon.”
Whittingham says that new manager Simon Haughney and the clubs players – who are mostly based in the London area, could walk away if the appeal is unsuccessful. He adds that the additional away trips in the Southern League will cost the club an extra £10,000 – something they simply don’t have.
If Fleet’s appeal fails and they do follow through and withdraw from step 4, Bracknell Town could be next in line for a switch. Another step 5 side would likely be promoted to fill the void but if it were a London based side then the Robins could get squeezed out of the Bostik.
It does seem incredibly late now though to still be moving clubs around and the above is scenario is speculation on our part but it is a worry with clubs already committing themselves to budgets and players based on the league they have been placed in.
Were Fleet, who have (according to FCHD.info) been switched between the two leagues seven times in 17 years but have spent the last seven seasons in the Southern League – to win their appeal they would go back to the Bostik and then who would fill the Southern League gap?
Fleet have confirmed on their own website the appeal will be heard on Monday 2nd July at Wembley Stadium.