The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 4th May 2012
More than 100 Northwich Victoria fans agreed at a meeting last night that Jim Rushe – who said last week he would not resign after Vics’ relegation from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s top tier as a punishment for breaking finance rules – should answer their questions.
“Our number one objective remains to preserve the continued existence of the club,” said James Wood, board member for Northwich Victoria Supporters Trust.
“Working with the owner is not viewed by us as a viable option any more.
“However if Mr Rushe approaches us, then we will talk to him. That door is never closed.”
He told supporters that the trust had drafted a business plan, part of which was written with launching a new club in mind, that it planned to publish later this month.
Wood said that the trust’s position remained unchanged; it would seek to set up a new version of Vics only if the existing one went out of business. “If that happened, then we feel we are ready to push the button to launch a new club,” he added.
“We are aware that starting new club now risks splitting the fan base, particularly while the current one still exists.
“It would be a choice for our members, not the trust board, to start a new club.”
Fans in the audience, the biggest to gather for a Trust-led meeting since the club was evicted from the Victoria Stadium earlier this year, agreed.
They supported the trust continuing with its contingency plan, while at the same time asking the independent group to write a letter to Mr Rushe with a list of questions to which they want an answer.
Northwich were relegated to the lowest level in the club’s near 140-years history last week as punishment for breaking finance rules.
Initially expelled by the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, despite finishing runners-up to Chester FC in the competition’s Premier Division, the sanction was reduced to a one-step relegation following an appeal to the FA.
The game’s governing body will now decide in which division to put the club next term.
Vics are committed to playing home matches at Stafford Rangers` Marston Road home, a round trip of more than eighty miles from their former ground.
The club would need permission from the league to swap that ground share for another, although that is unlikely now that a deadline has passed to have in place arrangements for next season.
Pushed on how advanced plans were for a new club, trust chairman Paul Stockton said: “We have made initial, introductory contact with Cheshire FA, the FA and the North West Counties League.
“However we have not talked to any club about a potential ground share.”
The trust’s business plan assumes a team from Northwich could play in the North West Counties League’s second tier, two levels below where the current club has been demoted.