The Football Association’s Leagues Committee has been informed of the withdrawal from Step 4 competition of Andover Town, who finished runners-up in the Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) Premier Division.
As a result of their withdrawal, it has been necessary to fill this vacancy with the club in a third-place position at Step 5 with the most points per game in the regular playing season in 2017/18, Toolstation Northern Counties East League side AFC Mansfield.
To this end, the following adjustments are now made:
AFC Mansfield – Promoted to Northern Premier League East.
Peterborough Sports and Yaxley from the Northern Premier League East to the Southern League East.
Cinderford Town from the Southern League East to the Southern League West.
Chasetown from the Southern League East to the Northern Premier League West.
Brighouse Town from the Northern Premier League West to the Northern Premier League East.
The FA said: “Whilst it is disappointing to learn of the withdrawal of Andover Town, who are now likely to be placed at Step 6 as a result of their withdrawal, it means that the knock-on effect of this places the five adjusted clubs within the provisional geographical boundaries that were published by the FA’s Leagues Committee back in February.”
A statement from Andover Town reads: “The Directors of Andover Town Football Club at their meeting on May 4th, noted and celebrated the success of the team and the promotion to the Southern League. However, regrettably, key figures in the club have resigned for business and personal reasons and with the consequent loss of significant sponsorship on an already very tight budget for 2018/19 the Directors made a decision on May 14th to inform the FA that Andover Town is unable to accept the promotion. We await the decision of the FA and the consequences as to the league in which Andover Town will be allowed to play during 2018/19.
“The Directors deeply regret the uncertainty to our players, our staff, our volunteers and our supporters created by this whole matter.
“Andover College/Sparsholt College are maintaining their sponsorship of the club, and at the same time, are ready to support Andover Town with football academy players, many local to Andover and will be working to support Andover Town youth football and their chairman, Simon Timms who is one of the Directors of Andover Town FC”.