The Hallmark Security League have released a statement confirming the reasons behind their decision to relegated Rochdale Town.
The statement was released in response to recent media reports surrounding the decision.
The statement in full read “The League Management Committee have been disappointed to read recent media reports speculating about the circumstances of the relegation of former members Rochdale Town, who were placed in a relegation position at the end of the 2015-16 season.
“The League are also concerned about the content of the recent articles which are inaccurate, and seem to focus in on one or two small points from what was a lengthy report.
“It is disappointing to note the ease with which some outlets are accepting the story from disenchanted supporters or officials from the club, without requesting details of the facts or indeed offering the right of reply.
“The decision to relegate the club was not taken by the League, it was taken by the FA Leagues Committee who deal with these processes, as a result of the Mayfield Sports Centre failing to meet the required ground grading standard.
“To Clarify: The FA Ground Grading Inspector visited Rochdale Town back in early September 2015 when a full report was given to the club’s Chairman at the time, listing in detail a number of items that would prevent them from obtaining the required ground grading at the time of the inspection.
“These consisted of the following:
1. The pay-box did not have a protective grill for security of the operator.
2. There was no signage on the home dug out.
3. Post holes on the terracing had not all been in-filled.
4. The stand roof was leaking with water accessing parts of the stand rendering those areas unfit for use.
5. An open step in the main stand had not been closed off.
6. The railing at the end of the stand had not been reinstated.
7. The toilets for players and match officials were not in the dressing rooms as required by National Grading Standards.
8. The dressing rooms were smaller than the minimum size allowed.
9. The wash basin in the match officials dressing room was in an untidy state
“In addition to these important Health and Safety requirements, the pitch size was referred to the FA Technical Panel and found to be too small for this standard whilst the markings were incomplete, which was also made clear to the Chairman at the time. This was also a recap from a previous visit made early in the 2014-15 season.
“These points included the poor condition of the dugouts, the untidy state of the ground and lack of availability of the ground to the club on regular match days.
“We are disappointed that the officials of the Club appeared to have focussed both on official correspondence and on social media that the only issue was a lock on a toilet door.
“We had maintained a silence on the issues of the relegation to enable the club to re-group and recover from relegation, hoping that as previous members they would look to return to our League in the near future.
“The League feels that the supporters of the club, both regular and casual, have not been given the full facts or circumstances of the reasoning behind the FA Leagues Committee’s decision to relegate them. As such, we also believe we have the right of reply, given the appearance of recent articles that do not give the full scale of the problems that all parties faced in this process.
“The League Management Committee wish the supporters of the club the best for the future, in whatever guise the club takes, and hope that they understand that there is a lot more detail involved in the decision to relegate Rochdale Town than has been alleged in various media outlets over the past few days”