THE chairman of Wem Town FC has confirmed the club has withdrawn from the national league system after a change to its facilities and a restructure to the leagues.

Chris Peel stated the club would be unable to host teams’ supporters and club officials in the North West Counties Football League (NWCFL) system, after a function room and bar was demolished at its rented ground.

The NWCFL has been restructured ahead of the 2021 to 2022 season.

Mr Peel said it is disappointing to see the club withdraw from the league system, but insists it is the correct decision.

He said: "The club has 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."

NWCFL secretary, John Deal, is disappointed Wem will not be competing in the league next season, and is disappointed to see the league is now one team short.

He 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."

Mr Deal hopes the upcoming season will see normal service resume following two seasons disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added: "Hopefully normal service will be resumed and that promotion will be won on the field, that said there will only be two promotion places in each Step 6 division, so for those disappointed clubs they will need to achieve at least a top-five position in their League.

“It is not clear how the FA will decide promotions if more than four clubs apply and achieve the entry grade or if the promotion application fee is to be rolled over."