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Step 3 Chairman hits out at club allocations & Non-League structure

Southern League Premier Division South side Met Police FC missed out on promotion to Step 2 this month following a 3-2 defeat in their inter division super play off with Tonbridge Angels.

Their Chairman has since released the following statement:

“So we now know that we are to remain in the Southern League Premier – South.
Before commenting further I just wish to place on record our best wishes to Tonbridge Angels as they move to the National League following their victory in the Super Play-off.

That defeat was a sad day for the Met. Not only would we have achieved our highest placing ever in the football pyramid, to coincide with our Centenary year, but would also have benefited from reduced costs in running the club due to less mileage in the National League South than in the Southern. In addition we would have had some very interesting local ‘derby’ games.

What adds to the disappointment is that we were not robbed of a hard earned promotion by football – we were robbed by decisions of the very administrators at The FA and Leagues who are supposed to be supporting clubs as they strive to make progress. So, together with Warrington who lost the other Super Play off final we must regroup and be left always to wonder what might have been. Rule changes for the next season will prevent this predicament recurring but that is no consolation to either ourselves or Warrington.

So where does that leave us? We have lost Weymouth by way of promotion but have gained Western Super Mare, Yate and Truro. All three are substantial journeys which will require coach hire. We have also gained Blackfields and Langley which at 70 miles away is hardly round the corner. A year ago the lateral movement to the Southern League put up our running costs by 23%. Those additional costs have now increased and will have added some 30% to our running costs when measured against those we faced in the Isthmian League in season 2017/18. These again are decisions taken by administrators who were tasked to review and implement a new football pyramid with the express aim of reducing costs for clubs. Certainly not in our case. Last year we appealed the decision which, predictably, was rejected.

Together with my Committee I must now decide whether we should appeal again; based principally on our situation being made worse. Clubs do not have any input or opportunity to outline the impact of these decisions before they are finalised. And it is also clear that the decisions are not always made for geographical or football reasons.

Is an appeal likely to succeed? To my knowledge there are no successes on record despite allegedly being heard by an independent adjudicator.

I will be meeting with Gavin and his team on Wednesday to finalise the playing budget for next season – I have already indicated to Gavin and the players that I believe it will be no different from where we started last season and any increase will have to be earned through success in Cup competitions or other external sponsorship support.

This is a miserable picture but with around £10.000 to find for coach travel alone I regret that our options are limited.

Despite this gloomy forward I still reflect with pride and pleasure on the wonderful season we have had at this club. Success right across the board at every level and by every team. Last season was our best ever and I realise absolutely the immense task that lies ahead for Gavin and his team. I have the utmost confidence that we can do well and that our policy of investing in young players will allow talent to develop, blossom and bring further success.

Thanks to all of you for your support and especially to those who support the teams.

Des Flanders
Chairman”

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