RYHOPE CW have lost their appeal against being compulsorily relegated from the Second Division of the Ebac Northern League.
The case was heard at Wembley yesterday and the outcome was not good news for Martin Swales’ side, which finished runners-up to champions Crook Town during their first-ever season in the competition.
The ENL recommended to the FA that the Wearsiders should be demoted because they had not carried out improvements to their ground by the cut-off date of March 31.
Ryhope appealed on the grounds that there had be extenuating circumstances and that the work would be completed in the near future but the FA yesterday upheld the League’s decision.
ENL secretary Tony Golightly said he felt sorry for Ryhope.
“They did exceptionally well during their initial season but rules are rules and unfortunately the club did not meet the ground criteria by the stipulated date.”
As a result of Ryhope’s relegation, almost certainly to the Wearside League, the ENL Second Division will comprise of 22 clubs.
In addition to Ryhope, Horden CW are relegated to the Wearside League and replaced by Willington from the Wearside League and Heaton Stannington from the Northern Alliance.
In Division One, Darlington 1883 have left to join the Evo-Stik League, while Crook Town and Morpeth Town replace Norton and Stockton Ancients and South Shields, who are relegated.