As a manager it is hard to take because we are not going down into division two because of football reasons. It is red tape.

Kenny McCreadie 3
Kenny McCreadie 3

HAILSHAM Town boss Kenny McCreadie has vowed to soldier on despite seeing his team relegated after failing to meet a ground improvement deadline.

The Stringers ended the season fifth from bottom but have dropped into the County League’s second division along with Wick, because they have failed to meet the March 31 deadline on ground improvements.

Stormed McCreadie, “As a manager it is hard to take because we are not going down into division two because of football reasons. It is red tape.

“And it just amazes me that St Francis, Rye and Sidley remain in division one and they are all cricket clubs.

“How can these three clubs get away with it while we are sent down? This is senior football and you are either football or cricket.

“This is not sour grapes; it is pure fact. It is all very, very disappointing because we finished high enough to avoid relegation and we did it on a shoestring – without a budget for players. And it is that much harder to get players to regular training when you are not paying them.

“The committee knew all this was happening five years ago, but this is the first year we have made some money. You need to speculate to accumulate.”

Wick manager Gary Block announced his resignation following news of the West Sussex club’s relegation, but McCreadie expects to soldier on.

“Someone has got to do it and football is a funny game.” he said. “But I am a positive man and I feel sure we can bounce back next season.”

McCreadie has no idea of his players’ reaction to dropping down to division two football but will hear their views during Saturday night’s annual club presentations.

He is optimistic, however, that the nucleus of his squad will remain at the Beaconsfield.

Club secretary Sue Williams said, “The rules were set down and we were just too late in getting everything done by March 31.

“The planning permission had run out and we have had to go through the council process all over again. We have also not been helped by two robberies in the last 18 months.

“One of the ground improvement requirements is a stand with a minumum of 100 seats and the overall cost facing us was in the region of £25,000.

“We as a club have had to find between £12,000 and £15,000 backed by a 50 per cent Football Foundation grant.

“The grant money is not yet with us – it is never a quick process as the relevant committee do not meet that often.

“At the moment it is just a matter of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s and we hope the money will be in place and the work completed by the start of the coming season.

“But like other clubs we have been facing a hard financial situation. Money is tight, although our match attendances are better than many others.”