Spennymoor Town have informed the Football Association that they would like to take promotion from the Ebac….
….Northern League at the end of the season..
Moors say they are ahead of schedule in their “five-year plan” regarding “ground development and the financials”, so have decided that they would consider playing at the next level up, the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division North.
The decision ensures a ding-dong battle between Moors and Darlington 1883, who first in the table, for the single promotion place available.
At a forum during pre-season at Bishop Auckland Football Club, Moors chairman Brad Groves dropped a major hint that his club would be going for promotion.
In preparation for going up, he announced a series of improvements to for the Brewery Field which incorporate new floodlights, a new clubhouse, a portable tunnel and new dugouts. Work began on the floodlights last week.
Groves has been a huge driving force behind the club in the last four years, financing three back-to-back title wins.
He said: “We are looking to get the club into a state of readiness to take promotion this season, but what I will not do is make any rash decision that would put the club’s stability and future at risk.
“Spennymoor have been down that road before and we have spent a long time refurbishing the Brewery Field, building the sponsorship base and clearing the debt left by previous regimes and we will not go back to that situation.”
Groves has identified key objectives that must be reached if they are to confirm their application at the end of the season.
A club statement yesterday said: “All of the ground works must meet the expectations for the ground grading required for the next level. This includes changing facilities for female officials.
“The commercial plan must be complete and in place.
“The launch of the investors and supporters community clubhouse scheme must meet or exceed expectations.
“Provided that all of the above criteria are met to the satisfaction of the Board then the supporters and the players will be consulted to determine the final decision.”
It is the first time that Moors have indicated that they would like to take promotion since they reformed as Spennymoor Town six years ago, months after the previous Spennymoor United went bust when in the UniBond – now known as the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.
At that time, the ground was almost up to standard, but it needed a protective tunnel for players walking out on to the pitch, plus some general housekeeping was required. The club did not fold because of failing to meet ground standards.
While ground standards have moved on in the last six years, the Moors’ set up and infrastructure has certainly improved greatly under Groves, and they are unlikely to fail a ground inspection.
Spennymoor, who are at Dunston UTS today, are four points behind Darlington with three games in hand on their rivals.
The teams meet at Heritage Park on December 19th with the game at Brewery Field being on February 15th, both are keenly-anticipated with the FA having said that there will be only one promotion place.
However, Northern League followers are aware that five years ago FA took the same stance, when Durham City won promotion, but FA later cherry-picked Newcastle Blue Star, who had expressed a wish to move up, but finished in mid-table.
There is still an option for any of the clubs applying for promotion to withdraw their application by the end of the season. The FA decide on the constitution of leagues in early May.
Sixth-placed Bishop Auckland have also informed the FA that they would like promotion.