The NWCFL League Management Committee have issued an update on the applications received from clubs wishing to join the NWCFL for season 2016-17.
A ground grading inspection has been carried out at Prestwich Heys (Manchester League), and the recommendation to the FA is that the ground meets the grade H standard required to join the NWCFL.
The Manchester League’s Management Committee fully supports the club’s proposed move to the NWCFL.
Ground grading inspections have been carried out at Sandbach United (Cheshire League) and Charnock Richard (West Lancashire League). Both grounds need work carried out in order to meet the required grading, but it is anticipated at this stage that both will meet the grading by the required date of 31st March.
The League has now also received applications from two clubs in Cumbria. The clubs are:
Carlisle City – the club are members of the Northern Football Alliance since 1975, a Step 7 league comprising clubs based in the North East of England and Cumbria.
They are a Charter Standard Community Club, and play their home games at Gillford Park Stadium in Carlisle, a ground that was previously the home of Gillford Park FC and Celtic Nation FC, both of whom competed in the Northern League.
They currently sit in fourth place in the Northern Football Alliance Premier Division.
A ground grading inspection was carried out on 11th March, and it is expected that the required grade will be met by 31st March.
Whitehaven Amateurs – members of the Wearside Football League, they were relegated from the Northern League Division Two in 2014 due to ground grading technicalities, after six seasons of being members. They play home games at a sports complex in Whitehaven, and they are currently in 15th place in the Wearside League.
A ground grading inspection was carried out on 15th March, and while they have work to complete in order to meet the required ground grading criteria, the club is committed to meeting the target date of 31st March.
Both Carlisle City and Whitehaven Amateurs have expressed a preference for being placed in the NWCFL, as opposed to the Northern League.
Finally, the FA have advised the League that interviews with the two new clubs who applied to join the league, FC Oswestry Town and City of Liverpool FC, will take place at Wembley in April.
As stated previously, both FC Oswestry Town and City of Liverpool FC have been informed that the Football Association have the final say as to whether the Club/s will be placed in our Step 6 Division, and that this will be dependent on whether or not there are any vacancies, after promotion and relegation issues to and from Step 7 Leagues are settled.
League Secretary John Deal said: “Existing member clubs are reminded that any clubs not complying with their FA Grading Report are likely to fail the FA Ground Grading Inspections that will take place later this month.
“This would result in them being placed in a relegation position.
“With the number of Step 7 and new clubs applying for promotion to our league now exceeding the number of vacancies, these existing member clubs place themselves under serious pressure with regard to retaining their membership, if they do not carry out the necessary ground improvements”.