TIME FOR A CHANGE OR RELEGATION
FA send out warning letters
THE FA have clarified letters sent to some Non-League clubs warning they would be relegated if they don’t expand their dressing rooms.
At Step 3 and 4, changing rooms are required to be a minimum of 18 square metres and six square metres for changing areas for match officials by March 31, 2019. If not met, then the club will not be eligible for promotion or participation in the play-offs at the completion of the 2018-19 season and relegated to Step 5.
Clubs have until the end of July next year to comply providing they can supply written confirmation the works will be completed by that date, achieved planning permission and have proof of funding.
Should a club provide the relevant documents but then fail to complete the necessary improvements, then their ground will be closed and the club will have to find an alternate, fully compliant ground for the 2019-20 season. Failure to complete the works by March 31, 2020 will then see the club relegated to Step 5.
The letters came as a shock to some affected clubs, concerned they wouldn’t be able to complete the work in time and how they would fund the changes.
However, The FA issued the notice about the changes four years ago and clubs can apply for up to 70 per cent funding through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund.
The NLP understands of the 228 clubs at Steps 3 and 4, 95 per cent are compliant. An FA spokesperson said: “In 2014 The FA and leagues at Step 3 and 4, consisting of the Evo-Stik League, Evo-Stik League South and the Bostik League, gave notice to their clubs that dressing room requirements would increase from 12 to 18 square metres to accommodate increased squad sizes, medical equipment and an improved environment for players.
“This is a mandatory requirement from those leagues and the vast majority have already achieved this. Those clubs that are not currently compliant were written to this week to encourage them to complete the works by 31 July 2019 or they will be relegated from their respective league.”
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