Clubs' facilities will be up to scratch

PUBLISHED: 09:30 30 January 2009 | UPDATED: 14:01 04 March 2010

RIDGEONS League secretary Nigel Spurling is confident that every Premier Division club will have their facilities up to the new FA standards by the end of March.

RIDGEONS League secretary Nigel Spurling is confident that every Premier Division club will have their facilities up to the new FA standards by the end of March.

If not, clubs face being 'relegated' from step five football. “I don't expect any of our clubs to fail to meet the requirements,” said Spurling. “It they don't however they face the possibility of being relegated.”

The upgrade in facilities has been set out by the Football Association and applies to clubs at step five level throughout the country.

And if the Ridgeons League fail to get their clubs to pass the inspections then the league could face having its status lowered.

Clubs playing in the First Division of the Ridgeons League have until March 2010 to make any improvements necessary - this being the cut-off point for step six clubs.

The standards for step six are not stringent as for step five although a number of clubs face having to spend substantial amounts of money.

Whitton United withdrew their first team from the Premier Division because of a lack of suitable players, but they were being faced with a £20,000 bill to bring their King George V ground, Ipswich up to standard and the indications are that they would have accepted 'relegation' at the end of the campaign as they would have been unable to complete the work.

No other club top flight club is in Whitton's position, but some still have some improvement work to do to bring them in line with the FA's new requirements.

Any doubts that building firm Ridgeons will be withdrawing their lucrative league sponsorship have been quashed by Spurling.

The current deal is to 2011, and he says that the company's commitment is unchanged.

“There have been reports of possible redundancies at the company, but this will not affect their deal with us,” said Spurling.

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