Rainworth MW resign from Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

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Rainworth MW have announced that they are to pull out of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League at the end of the current season.

The decision ends speculation concerning the First Division South club’s future which has been rife in recent weeks.

Secretary and chairman Les Lee says the request to drop down to Step 5 of the National Leagues System was made reluctantly after five years in the Evo-Stik League, but was inevitable given the club’s financial position.

Mr Lee said: “We have carried out a financial projection for next season from which it became clear that we would not be able to maintain a playing budget commensurate with this level of football, and we are not prepared to go into debt to sustain it.

“The heartbreaking fact is that we are not getting the support through the gates, and what should be a pleasure for those who work behind the scenes to keep a club going is instead a source of worry and sleepless nights about money and survival.”

Two years ago the Wrens offered their resignation from the league but withdrew it when a new financial backer came on board, and Mark Hawkins was installed as chairman with Green Energy Power Solutions becoming main sponsors. Mr Hawkins resigned for personal reasons earlier this season but the company continued as sponsors.

Mr Lee added: “We are truly grateful for the sponsorship we received from them over the past couple of years and hope that they will continue to support us in some way, but we know that these are still troubled times for businesses and no firm commitment from them had been made for next season before the cut off date, leaving the committee with little alternative but to offer their resignation from the Evo-Stik League.

“Their involvement has kept us in the division for two more years and we thank them for that.”

Rainworth were in a battle with Kidsgrove Athletic to avoid the second relegation spot above already relegated Brigg Town, and the two rivals meet at Kirklington Road on Saturday for what would have been a vital showdown, although with Norton United having already announced their withdrawal it was expected that whoever finished second bottom would be reprieved.

Brigg have also formally resigned from the league because they do not wish to be reprieved from relegation.

Rainworth’s place in season 2015-16 will be determined by the Football Association’s National Leagues Committee, but they hope to return to the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, which has operated with one club light this season.