Whit­tle­sey with­draw from league after just 10 matches

Foot­ball - Shock­ing few days for high-pro­file club

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - By Alan Swann alan.swann@jpress.co.uk @PTAlanSwann

It’s been an aw­ful few days for lead­ing lo­cal club Whit­tle­sey Ath­letic who lost a high­lyrated man­ager and their hard-earned United Coun­ties League sta­tus within 24 hours. A f und­ing f ail­ure caused heart­break at Fel­dale Field. It left the club un­able to bring the ground upto UCL stan­dard be­fore the Septem­ber 30 dead­line.

Man­ager Andy Lodge quit the club when he found out the club’s UCL sta­tus was un­der threat and 24 hours later Whit­tle­sey­with­drewfromthe com­pe­ti­tion just 10 matches into their first sea­son as astep six club.

That­de­cison­isun­der­stood to have cost the club a £750 fine, but there would have been more se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial ram­i­fi­ca­tions if they hadtried to bat­tle on.

Whit­tle­sey’s four teams in the Peter­bor­ough League and their Un­der 18 side in the Peter­bor­ough & Dis­trict Youth League are un­af­fected by the move.

Lodge said: “It’s a cry­ing shame for the whole club. I felt I couldn’t carry on when I heardthe­newsover­the­week­end.

“We had worked so hard to re­alise our am­bi­tion and to have it taken away so quickly is hard to take.

“The club have taken a sen­si­ble de­ci­sion in the cir­c­cum­stances as the fines we would have faced by try­ing to carry on would have been huge.

“It’s im­por­tant we safe­guarded the club’s fu­ture in the Peter­bor­ough League and the fu­ture of the youth team.”

Lodge will now take a breather from man­age­ment, bu­tit’s likely adou­blePFASe­nior Cup­win­ning­man­ager­will re­ceive plenty of of­fers.

Whit­tle­sey c hair­man Wayne Gale is­sued a club state­ment.

It read: “It’s a huge dis­ap­point­ment to every­one at the club and the lo­cal com­mu­nity, but our pri­or­ity has al­ways been to pro­vide foot­balling op­por­tu­ni­ties, what­ever the level, to Whit­tle­sey and the sur­round­ing vil­lages. This de­ci­sion will safe­guard the fu­ture of the club.”

Whit­tle­sey Ath­letic in ac­tion at Fel­dale Field.

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