Southern League side Fleet Town have received notification of their appeal over a transfer from the Bostik League to the Southern League this summer.
The club had been placed in the Bostik League with Bracknell Town, Marlow and Egham Town but were switched to the Evo Stik Southern following the withdrawal of Andover Town.
A delegation from the Calthorpe Park side had presented their case at the FA on Monday afternoon and were expecting an email response the same evening. However the club have since tweeted the appeal has been turned down.
We are shocked and saddened to announce that @FleetTownfc have been unsuccessful in their appeal to the @FA ‘that FTFC has been treated unfairly’. This decision leads to 7 league changes in 17 seasons for the club and is a seriously damaging outcome for FTFC.
— Fleet Town (@FCFleetTown) July 2, 2018
Club secretary Richard Whittingham, who was part of the delegation had said to the Fleet & Yateley News & Mail last week that the club may be forced to withdraw from the Southern League if their appeal wasn’t granted.
He said the club had already appointed a manager with the Bostik League geography in mind and added the travel would be a big problem: “Our longest away game was going to be Ware at 70 miles but now it’s Banstaple or Bideford in Devon.”
Seven sideways moves in 17 years
Part of the reason for the clubs appeal is the shear number of times they have been moved between leagues without earning promotion or relegation.
In 2017/18 they played in the Southern League Division 1 East (which was a much more local division for the club) and between 2015 and 2017 in the Central Division. The switch in the summer puts them in a far more western division with trips as far west as Bristol and Devon.
If Fleet follow through with their threat, their could be repercussions for other clubs in the area depending on who (or even if a club at all) was chosen from step 5.