10:13AM, Wednesday 01 April 2020
Marlow United have announced they’ve been left with little option but to quit the Hellenic League and return to the Thames Valley Premier League.
The decision has been taken in part because of the coronavirus pandemic, but finances were also hit by this season’s inclement weather which led to several weekend matches being postponed and rescheduled as midweek evening fixtures.
The deadline for withdrawing from the Hellenic Football League’s Division 1 East was March 31, and the club felt it was left with no alternative but to make the step.
The Flying Blues have requested they be returned to step seven of the non league pyramid, likely to be the Thames Valley Premier League which they competed in successfully over several years.
A statement from the club read: “The current national crisis will impact on this and many other clubs greatly.
“However, prior to this the club had struggled largely due to the extremely inclement conditions through the season which meant many Saturday fixtures were necessarily cancelled and rescheduled for mid-week. This has impacted severely on the club’s financial position as an average 100-130 Saturday attendance is much reduced on a Tuesday to around 40-70, resulting in costs exceeding income.
“While this could have been overcome there is no longer a clear way forward. The football club relies heavily on sponsorship, fundraising and match attendances. As the economy recovers, which may be a while away yet, there is no realistic chance of any substantial sponsorship and it may be many months before fundraising events can be held.
“With this in mind there is simple no way forward for the football club at step six. With no clear way to generate meaningful funds we had little choice other than to terminate our Hellenic League membership by the March 31 deadline and reapply to join the Thames Valley Premier League.
“We would like to thank the Hellenic League and its officers for the opportunity afforded this season and we wish the league and its member clubs every success for the future.”
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