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Step 5 club resign from their league

It is with disappointment that a Step 5 club have chose to resign from their league and are now set to fold, bringing sadness to many fans.

Unlike other non league clubs who have had to voluntary relegate or even had to cease to exist themselves in a bid to survive, this latest side haven’t stepped down due to coronavirus pandemic.

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That team we’re talking about is Solent University (formerly known Team Solent) who have sadly tendered their resignation from the Sydenhams (Wessex) League prior to the forthcoming 2020/2021 season.

The league have stated via their website: “Solent University (formerly Team Solent) have tendered their resignation from the Sydenhams (Wessex) League prior to the forthcoming 2020/2021 season.

“They have cited the “changing landscape of Higher Education which has caused a realignment of the priorities and the desire to support other sporting ambitions” as the reason for this decision.

“The League has reported the resignation to the Football Association who will make the League allocations for next season.”

Radio presenter and journalist Cliff Pledge has said: “Solent University FC (formerly Team Solent) are set to fold their men’s team.

“‘The Sparks’ intend to withdraw from the Sydenhams Wessex League.
Fond memories of plugging their FA Cup debut in 2013 and reporting on their fine FA Vase run in 2017.

It was just days since we reported that Southern League club Blackfield and Langley have sent in a request to the FA for voluntary relegation.

It comes after their investor, manager and players left to join AFC Totton, so now the club have no choice but to leave league status due to high travel costs and mandatory changes to their infrastructure.

Blackfield & Langley sat 18th, five points above the relegation zone, before the 2019/20 season was null and void because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile for Solent University, they finished 17th out of 20 teams in the Wessex League Premier Division, picking up 20 points for 28 games.

It has also revealed that the 2020/21 season will be the last for Sydenhams in being the sponsors of the Wessex League.

Lee Wright, Group Managing Director of Sydenhams said: It has been a privilege for Sydenhams to have worked with the Wessex league over the past 17 years but we have now taken the difficult decision that 2020/21 will be our last season as sponsor.

The league has meant a huge amount to us all at Sydenhams and we would like to take this opportunity to applaud the exceptional work of the Wessex League and everyone associated with it. We are truly honoured to have been part of something so special for nearly two decades and wish you all the very best success for future.

Nick Spencer who is Acting Chairman of the Wessex League said: It is with regret that I advise you Sydenhams Ltd will not be continuing with their sponsorship of the Wessex League at the conclusion of the 2020/2021 season.

The league and it’s member clubs have benefited immensely from the sponsorship by Sydenhams Ltd, during an unprecedented 17 year partnership, making it possible for the league to develop and be considered by many as one of the best Step 5/6 leagues in the country.

The decision is disappointing although understandable in the current economic crisis brought about by the Corona Virus pandemic.

In thanking Sydenhams Ltd for their sponsorship, on behalf of everyone involved with the league I would like to recognise the support from Ray Pride.

Fans have reacted after it was announced that the Step 5 club will resign from their league…

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