Wem Town have withdrawn from the North West Counties Football League (NWCFL) ahead of the new season.

Club chairman Chris Peel informed the league of the decision – citing the lack of facilities at the Butler Sports Arena which will see the club not make the step up to the newly revamped North West Counties League first division south.

Mr Peel said: 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 NWCFL".

"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 West Midlands Regional League.

"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."

The league accepted the club's resignation but secretary John Deal expressed disappointment at the timing.

Mr Deal said: "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."