League chairman apologises to Common

Action from Little Common's 2-0 victory over Bexhill United on Monday which made 100 percent sure of their top three finish. Picture by Simon Newstead
Action from Little Common's 2-0 victory over Bexhill United on Monday which made 100 percent sure of their top three finish. Picture by Simon Newstead
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The Macron Store Southern Combination Football League chairman has apologised for wrongly stating the league was unaware of Little Common’s groundshare agreement with Eastbourne United AFC.

Common announced last week they will play their home games at The Oval in Eastbourne next season in order to meet the ground grading requirements for Division One and avoid the possibility of being relegated.

League chairman Steve Nealgrove said at the weekend the league didn’t know about the arrangement, but in fact Common had received written confirmation earlier this month that the league management committee had approved the groundshare.

Nealgrove said: “I can only apologise to Little Common on behalf of the league for causing them any distress and we retract the statements made.

“I’m the chairman of the league and it falls on me. I made the statements and I wouldn’t have made them if I had known.

“The groundsharing agreement was approved, but I was absent for that part of the meeting when it was discussed. It was an internal miscommunication.”

Common will finish this season in one of the three promotion places from Division One, but even though their home venue for next term meets the Premier Division ground grading requirements, Common cannot be promoted as the regulations for the operation of the National League System rules state that no club can agree a groundshare to gain promotion.

Because they signed an agreement by the end of March, however, Common can apply to play in the FA Cup for the first time next term and they will also be eligible to apply for promotion at the end of the 2017/18 campaign if they are again in a promotion position.

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