News has reached Football in Bracknell that Uhlsport Hellenic League Division 1 East side Bicester Town have resigned from the competition with immediate effect.
Town had been unable to fulfil a fixture against AFC Aldermaston on Saturday and Wednesday nights Subsidiary Cup tie with Thame Rangers had also been postponed.
A statement from the Hellenic League to clubs was sent out on Wednesday notifying them of the clubs resignation. It reads: “I have this afternoon received written notice of the resignation of BICESTER TOWN from all competitions within the UHL. They have also withdrawn from the FA VASE Competition.”
The club had been sharing with Ardley United since returning to the Hellenic League in 2015/16 and had been looking for a ground in the town and had been unable to take a promotion to the Premier Division the club earned last season due to a clause in the agreement.
The Oxford Mail reported in May that: “BTFC currently shares its ground with Ardley United, and has done for three years, but a clause in their agreement means only one of the teams can progress up the divisions because of the extra games promotion entails.”
Ardley won promotion from Division 1 West at the end of last season blocking the clubs path. At the time club Vice-chairman Alf Pickett said: “We are in limbo, it cannot go on. It is unsustainable.”
He added: “I have had to guarantee sponsors that we will keep going and if we don’t they’ll get their money back because they’re local businesses. These are people that have been in the town for years and want to know what’s going on.
“It affects everyone; the players, the managers, the committee, the sponsors, everyone.”
Town had finished second, fifth and second in their three seasons back in the Hellenic.
What happens next?
Last season Henley Town resigned from Division 1 East and saw their record expunged, meaning clubs who had taken points and scored against the Red Kites lost those stats. The same will happen to Bicester’s record.
The resignation means the division will run with 13 teams and Wokingham & Emmbrook, Abingdon Town and Wallingford Town will lose the results they earned.
In terms of the FA Vase, it remains to be see whether AFC Spelthorne Sports Club – the side they beat in the First Qualifying Round will be reinstated or Brimsdown will receive a bye.
Main image: Bicester Town take on Sandhurst Town at Bottom Meadow by Richard Milam.