AFC Fylde have thrown in the towel over relegation from the National League and abandoned any legal challenge for the good of the game.
The Coasters confirmed they would not contest going down in a statement on Thursday after the Football Association ratified the National League’s decision to end the 2019/20 season and go ahead with the promotion play-offs only hours earlier.
A subsequent vote on June 17 by a majority of clubs in the competition’s three divisions to decide the season’s final standings on a points-per-game basis left AFC Fylde second-from-bottom and relegated to National League North.
Club officials laid bare their disappointment in a statement confirming their decision to follow in the footsteps of Ebbsfleet United who accepted relegation and said they would not proceed with a legal challenge on Tuesday.
? Club Statement.
— AFC Fylde (@AFCFylde) July 16, 2020
The club said: “AFC Fylde now looks forward to building both on and off the field ahead of a new campaign. Whilst the club remains disappointed on a number of areas, such as miscommunication provided by the National League at already uncertain times, we wholeheartedly accept as a club that overall it has been a disappointing campaign at Mill Farm and we wish to move forward now and plan ahead for a successful 2020-2021 league season.
“The club can confirm it did explore the potential of legal action in tandem with Ebbsfleet United. The reason we are not pursuing any legal action is because it would adversely affect the continuation of the game we love. Teams are looking to be promoted, so with that comes relegation and we reluctantly accept our fate on this.
“If we were to challenge this decision, football as we know it within our respected divisions could be delayed pending a decision being made, which we as a club and a footballing community would not want to see happen. We wish the very best of luck to all teams involved in the play-offs over the coming weeks.”
The Coasters added: “Many hours of hard work have taken place at a number of clubs from talented and passionate individuals to ensure football will return. We hope you stay safe and make it an occasion to remember.
“AFC Fylde now looks forward to building both on and off the field ahead of a new campaign, as we aim to secure promotion at the first attempt back to the National League in order for the club to achieve its ultimate goal of reaching the English Football League. We are excited to begin the process of welcoming all supporters back to Mill Farm as soon as possible.”
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