WHITTLESEY ATHLETIC say they have resigned from the United Counties League to safeguard the future of the club.
Athletic won promotion from the Peterborough & District League last season and had made a promising start to life at Step 6, winning three and drawing three of their opening ten games.
However, boss Andy Lodge quit earlier this week after the club confirmed funding to improve their Feldale Field ground had been withdrawn.
Athletic needed to erect floodlights by September 30 to comply with United Counties League rules or face demotion at the end of the season.
With no money in place to complete the work and with relegation set to be looming over them all season regardless of results, the club have opted to withdraw from the UCL Division One.
The club, which was only formed two years ago following a merger between Whittlesey United and Coates Athletic, will have its record expunged from the league table.
Chairman Wayne Gale said in a statement: “Over the weekend, we had our funding to complete the ground improvements at Feldale withdrawn.
“Therefore, we will be unable to comply with UCL regulations as at September 30. After many discussions with the UCL and the FA, the decision was taken to withdraw the first team and incur the fines for this action. The further fines and costs to remain in the league would have not been sustainable.
“We have had assurances from the FA that this will not affect the remaining four adult teams and our youth team. All will continue to compete in their current divisions and cups this season.
“This is a huge disappointment to everyone at the club and the local community, however the priority of the club has always been to provide footballing opportunities, whatever the level, to Whittlesey and the surrounding villages. This decision has been taken to safeguard the future of the club and this priority.”