Westfield to appeal relegation decision

Westfield Football Club will be appealing against its relegation for ground grading reasons
Westfield Football Club will be appealing against its relegation for ground grading reasons
  • Westfield to appeal against relegation for ground grading issues
  • Club finished fourth-from-bottom
  • Fifth-bottom Rustington also relegated for same reason
  • Bottom two teams, Storrington and Seaford Town, stayed up
  • Westfield have been in senior football for 16 years

Westfield Football Club will be appealing against its relegation for failing to meet ground grading requirements.

The Westies are facing demotion to Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Three - or the Southern Combination Football League as it will be known from next season - despite finishing the 2014/15 campaign outside the Division Two drop zone.

Westfield came fourth-from-bottom, while Rustington - who were fifth-from-bottom - have also gone down for the same reason.

The bottom two teams - Storrington and Seaford Town - will not be relegated even though Seaford only picked up one point all term.

Southwick, Langney Wanderers and Sidlesham will be promoted into Division Two having filled the top three places in Division Three.

SCFL chairman Steve Nealgrove revealed all clubs were informed at the start of the season that any who failed to meet the FA’s National League system ruling on ground grading could face relegation.

He said: “It’s not a decision we like to make as a body, but we have been forced to do so.

“All clubs in the league were informed of inspections throughout the season and failure to meet criteria by March of this year could result in relegation.

“Unfortunately, both Westfield and Rustington have not managed to pass their gradings and will be relegated.”

Westfield secretary Gill Attewell received news of the club’s relegation to intermediate level football via email last Wednesday and the club had 14 days to submit an appeal.

She said: “We were told by the FA halfway through the season the ones that didn’t make the ground grading would be safe for this year so it was a complete shock. We’re absolutely gutted and it’s just such a shame.”

Attewell said that quite a large part of Westfield’s appeal will be based around their proposed new ground, something which has been a long time in the making but which she says is now ‘so close’ to fruition.

Westfield also claim that one of the clubs being promoted in their place didn’t meet the ground requirements for Division Two by the deadline.

“It has come as a bit of a shock to be honest,” said Westfield manager Jethro Warren. “It’s always hanging over your head a little bit, but if we had finished in the bottom two we would’ve expected to go down.

“I know they bang on about the new ground, but to get to the point now where it’s going to happen, it would be a massive blow to go down.”

As well as losing their senior status after 16 years, Westfield will face a huge amount of travelling in 2015/16 with the majority of Division Three clubs located in West Sussex.

Rottingdean Village will be the closest team geographically to Westfield in a division also containing the likes of Bosham, Billingshurst, Roffey, Ifield and Ferring, plus league new boys Montpelier Villa, AFC Vardeanians, Alfold, Cowfold, Upper Beeding and AFC Roffey.

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