THE Southern League have reacted to the news that Sholing were demoted back to Step 5 because of ground grading issues – stating it was their own decision to drop down.
The 2014 FA Vase winners finished 17th in the Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South & West last season following promotion from the Wessex League.
However, on Monday the club posted a brief statement saying “Sholing FC acknowledge the receipt of an email late last night from the FA informing us we have been relegated from Step 4 (Southern League S&W) to Step 5 (Wessex) due to ground grading issues”.
Manager and chairman Dave Diaper told the Daily Echo: “I feel really disappointed because it wasn’t our fault that this has happened.
“Bottom line is would never have gone up had we known that we’d have a ground grading issue.”
Southern League chairman Ken Turner has spoken out, claiming that Sholing themselves asked the league to return to Step 5.
“Clevedon Town were removed from Division One South & West after losing their appeal to the FA against a league decision to relegate them after their grading certificate had been withdrawn because of issues with their floodlights – they did not volunteer to go down as some reports have stated,” Turner said.
“Contrary to local press reports, Sholing tendered their resignation from the league and were not relegated from Division One South & West for failing to complete the work required to attain the necessary grading following their promotion.”