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AFC Mansfield decision sparks confusion

The relegation battle in a third Evo-Stik League was potentially affected yesterday after it was confirmed that AFC Mansfield would have to vacate their position in Step 4 after their ground failed to meet grading requirements. 

Following the liquidation of North Ferriby United in the NPL and the resignation of Colwyn Bay in the Evo-Stik West, yesterday’s news means that all Evo-Stik Leagues have now been affected by the unexpected departure of a club.

AFC Mansfield were promoted from the NCEL Premier Division last season have had an impressive first season at Step 4 level, with the Bulls currently lying in 16th position, a comfortable nine points above the drop zone.

A statement on Mansfield’s official club website read, “The club are saddened to announce that AFC Mansfield will be relegated from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League at the end of the 2018/19 season.

“The club failed to meet ground grading requirements by the March 31 deadline, and consequently have been placed into a relegation position.

“In light of these events, the club has written to the Football Association requesting to be placed at step five of the National League System.

“A further statement concerning the club’s relegation will be released in due course.”

Meanwhile, it is so far unclear exactly what effect the news will have on the current relegation battle in the league.

Some are anticipating that only the bottom placed club in the Evo-Stik East will now be relegated, however the exact course of action that will be taken is yet to be announced.

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