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Step 6 club withdraws from league with questions on where their future lies

A Step 6 club withdraws from their league after movement with questions remaining with fans on where their future lies going forward.

Wem Town depart from the National League System according to reports following the club allocations for the 2020/21 season, the North West Counties Football League have said.

The Shropshire non league club played last season in the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division but were placed in the First Division South of the NWCFL as part of the huge Step 4-6 restructure.

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Since the FA announced the restructure allocations for season 2021/22 on Tuesday the League has been notified of Wem Town’s decision to withdraw from the National League System.

Wem Town have decided to withdraw from the NWCFL for season 2021-22. The League were informed by Chris Peel, Chairman of the club this week and the FA have also been informed.

Speaking of the club’s decision to withdraw from the league, Chris Peel informed us of the clubs disappointment that they could not take their place in the league, however “the club are being realistic, the club rents the ground from Wem Town council for a yearly fee. Until four weeks ago there was a bar/function room attached to the facility which was demolished due a structural failure. Therefore, the club are in no position to host teams’ supporters/club officials in the NWCL”.

“The club have no hospitality facilities which ultimately affects the clubs FA ground grading. The club have tried to remedy this, but as tennants, not owners, the club rely on decisions at council level going our way, and also help with funding. The reduced income opportunities have affected the club dramatically alongside the much larger running costs in the NWCFL, as opposed to the now defunct WMRL. Geographically our operation is dependent on where we operate, irrespective of the level, the club, which has been around since the late 1800’s cannot be put at risk.”

League Secretary John Deal stated that “Although the Management Committee respect the club’s decision and would not want to see a Club go out of existence the disappointing aspect is that they did not notify the FA prior to the announcement of the allocations for 2021/22. This now leaves the First Division South one Club short. Whether this can be addressed by the FA we don’t know at this stage, but it seems unlikely.”

“I don’t accept that the financial costs are probative as the club would have less mileage to travel and more local derbies. However, if they do not have the necessary facilities that would have been a major problem. The really disappointing thing is that there are Six County Feeder League clubs in the South Division area, one of which has been denied the opportunity to backfill the vacancy.”

“It should be remembered that the restructure was never going to be a normal promotion and relegation season. Although we are delighted that so many County Feeder League Clubs obtained the entry ground grade we are equally frustrated and disappointed that only 2 vacancies were backfilled after lateral movements from other Leagues and both being in the North Division.”

“Hopefully normal service will be resumed and that promotion will be won on the field, that said there will only be 2 promotion places in each Step 6 division, so for those disappointed clubs they will need to achieve at least a top 5 position in their League. It is not clear how the FA will decide promotions if more than 4 clubs apply and achieve the entry grade or if the promotion application fee is to be rolled over.”

Following the events this week the League will continue with it’s preparation for the 2021-22 season and we look forward to our League AGM which takes place on June 12th. We expect fixtures to be released a short while after the AGM.

Fans reacted after seeing that the Step 6 club withdraws from their new league with questions on where their future lies…

@skybattalion: Gutted at this as Wem was looking like a great away day. It’d be crazy to play a season with 19 teams when there are clubs desperate to fill the vacancy.

@Wildman0603: Hopefully the @FA will do the right and sensible thing and promote a step 7 club who are keen to progress. Unfortunately sensible and the FA don’t always go together

@ajward1985: Give it to @EuxtonVillaFC please @FA – there are a couple of fairly ‘southern’ teams in @nwcfl North next season who would probably be very content with a lateral move to save travel time.

@wellyams: All the best @WemTownFC you’ll be back

@tacticalnotepad: @OfficialSGFC have to be offered their place.

@daleskitt: Bad news for Wem Town, will they enter a team in the Salop Leisure League now? I hope they do.

@nick_durman: Sad news @WemTownFC

@Cymrugroundhop1: This is Such A Shame…@WemTownFC Hope Everything Is Ok With U.

@SportsbeatJohn: Give it to Foley, sick of them moaning about missing out, mind you, once you have fleeced them of every penny they have they’ll be back to SCSL.

@wtshrewisaway: Disappointing news for @WemTownFC

@union1908: Changes to the Counties Division One South already – Wem Town withdraw, meaning we’re currently down to a 19 team league. The league seem not at all happy in the statement. It will at least stop some of the complaints about travel times over the course of the season – but hopefully Wem can use this to build, as it sounds like a very difficult situation.

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