STUDLEY chairman Alan Smith says the club have been rocked by the Football Association’s decision to end their season early due to coronavirus and expunge all results.
The Bees were very close to folding at the start of the season due to the loss of both president Dave Robinson and chairman Barry Cromwell who passed away within two months of each other prior to the season starting.
However, through the determination of committee members and chairman Smith, the decision was made to continue and under managers John Edwards and Wayne Bunn the Bees have flourished in Midland League Division One.
Prior to the termination of the season, Studley were third in the table – six points behind second place with four games in hand – and in the thick of the promotion race.
Yet, following the FA’s decision to null and void steps three to seven of non-League football – which is subject to ratification by the FA Council – all of the club’s efforts have gone to waste, as is the case with Midland League Division Two promotion hopefuls Feckenham.
Elsewhere locally, Redditch United and Alvechurch have been spared possible relegation from Southern Premier Central.
Smith said: “The decision is in our opinion an injustice and the points per game ratio should have been used (to determine finishing positions).
“This is a system the FA already use when deciding entry into the FA Cup for teams at our level. If this system was used the table would read Leicester Road with 2.46 average, Studley 2.18, Uttoxeter 2.14, Brocton 2.07.
“Rugby union has ended its season and done it on a points per game criteria with teams being promoted and relegated.
“The points per game criteria would have us finish second. Teams at the top of the table are there for a reason, similarly teams at the bottom of the table are also there for a reason.
“With four teams due to go up this season, we were very confident of going up to the Premier of the Midland Division and step five of the pyramid system.
“The cost to the club financially is over and above £30,000 for the season when taking into account pitch rental, players budget, travelling expenses and kit wash. If the season is null and void will our monies be refunded?”
Smith added: “The club is dependent mainly on sponsors and they will be so keen to know why their money was wasted.
“The team is run by a very small committee and there is an urgent need to get more people on the board. We are always on the lookout for sponsors, with a main sponsor urgently required.
“With the facilities down at Studley being very good and negotiations with owners Solihull Moors about a long-term contract going well, this is a club going forward on and off the pitch, but we DO need more people on board.
“The decision to expunge the season must be ratified by the FA Council yet so let’s hope they overrule this very unfair decision and common sense prevails.
“Whilst understanding the serious situation we find ourselves in at the moment, we know football is low on the agenda, however it is our national sport and is very important.
“We are very passionate about the game as a nation, so these decisions are vital for when we get back to normal. The management team of John Edwards, Wayne Bunn, Richard Briggs, Mick Pitt and Nadine Tipple have pulled out all the stops to get us in the position we are in the table and to have the season null and void would not only be wrong, but heart-breaking as well.”