RYHOPE CW’s faint hopes of survival in the Ebac Northern League have been dashed.
The FA have decided that Ryhope will be treated as a relegated club because their facilities were not up to the required standard by the March 31 deadline.
The news is a devastating blow to the Wearsiders, especially as Martin Swales’ side finished runners-up to champions Crook Town during their first season in the Ebac Northern League Second Division.
Ryhope were allowed into the league on the basis that the required work would be completed in time.
Northern League secretary Tony Golightly said last night: “I can confirm that Ryhope CW and Horden CW will be relegated, but I cannot say which leagues they will go into. This will be decided by the FA in due course.”
Ryhope have applied to re-join the Wearside League from which they were promoted as champions last May, but the final decision rests with the FA.
Crook, Morpeth Town and Jarrow Roofing are promoted to the First Division, with Norton and Stockton Ancients, South Shields and Sunderland RCA taking their places in Division Two.
Willington (Wearside League) and Heaton Stannington from the Northern Alliance have been accepted into the Northern League, while Darlington 1883 are on their way into the EvoStik League First Division North after winning the ENL title.
Golightly added: “The First Division will operate with 23 clubs, one less than last season while there will again be 22 sides in the Second Division. The FA would ideally like each division to have 22 clubs and this could be the case sometime in the future.”