Club face prospect of promotion heartache

RIDGEONS League Division One leaders Cambridge University Press face the heartache of not being promoted even if they finish in the top three this season.

CUP, who only joined the league this season, play at the well-appointed Cass Centre ground in Cambridge. But despite its impressive dressing room and clubhouse complex, the ground seems unlikely to be passed as fit to stage Premier Division football next season.

Ridgeons League secretary Nigel Spurling said: “Cambridge UP joined the league this season in the expectation that their ground would be brought up to the required standard, with covered accommodation, seating and floodlighting.

“However, it has since emerged that the land the ground is on is owned by one of the colleges in Cambridge who are not prepared to allow building work on the ground.

“Under normal circumstances they would be relegated. However, the Football Association has decided that no club can be relegated from Step 6, so they will not be relegated back to the Cambridge Kershaw League for failing to meet the required standards.

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“However, you can not be promoted if you have not got the required standard for the division you are playing in,” he added.

CUP could resign from the league (effective at the end of this season) up until December 31 without penalty. Resigning later than that or dropping out during the season would see a �1,000 penalty kick in.

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CUP are believed to be exploring the possibility of a groundshare with Histon Reserves next season, should the Stutes’ second string, who are currently bottom of the Premier Division, be relegated.

As the rules stand at present clubs are not allowed to enter into a groundshare agreement in order to gain promotion or be saved from relegation, so this would not enable CUP to be promoted at the end of this season.

As only teams filling the top three places in Division One are eligible for promotion, it is possible that only two sides may go up this season.

And with Leiston looking ever more likely to win the Premier Division and gain promotion to the Ryman League for next season, it may be that only one club will be relegated from the top flight.

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