First Team Sub
Jan 15, 2009, 9:43 PM
Team(s): Leicester City, AFC Bournemouth, Hamworthy United
It depends on exactly you think is required. I think the most important question is fixed number of teams in the league or fixed boundaries. In my mind it has to be one or the other.
But yes I think it is worth it if there is going to be more than 22 teams in the Wessex League, I think you have to move one out.
I don't think its better to relegate an "extra" club or "find a reason" why a division 1 club can't come up, (this is supposed to be a pyramid right.) And what exactly would this reason be as well is "we don't like you" a valid reason?
If there are too many clubs in a step 5 league, than one will just have to move out. The line has to be drawn somewhere so if a club is on the wrong side of the line, if they are still in a step 5 league tough luck.
If we start from the premise that the League were prepared to relegate 3 (or even 4) to accomodate circumstances last season, and that there is a vacancy in Div 1, it seems unlikely that they would force a club to move across. The club previously talked about as interested in transferring is Alton Town. As one of the 5 clubs currently adrift in the Premier, they could be relegated anyway. If neighbours Alresford are relegated and they aren't, they might prefer a transfer. As to clubs coming down - I've seen Taunton this season and was very unimpressed, Winchester seem to be on the up, so with only 12 points between 11th and bottom, it's probably significant odds against 2 "Wessex" clubs coming down.
Then we get to promotion and although Poole don't look quite the same team without their top scorer, and they did go "off the boil" at this time last season, they must be odds on champions. I am unsure of their current plans, but there is a public meeting on their plans for a new ground next Friday (23rd) with supporters against nimbys (I forecast a score draw, or abandonment due to inadequate venue), though the Council leadership is supportive as it is the only way they can get someone else to maintain Branksome Rec. PTFC's declared plan is to go for a planning application following the meeting, so they could end up with planning permission by May. Their funding plans include grants, so this would presumably mean any go ahead would be no earlier than 12 months from now, so touch and go if it could be ready for 2010/11. Would the Leagues accept an uncomplying Tatnam Farm, or a short term ground share in such circumstances - looks unlikely. Tatnam Farm failed last year, and the one thing I am sure they can't do is produce hard standing on the side opposite the stand. So, if we assume that will be a "no", what of the others? Newport and Wimborne have no chance, so its down to VT. On the face of it, they may have done the necessary work to overcome last year's objections (though I don't like grass car parks, and I went on a wet day), but the manager has stated that he needs assurances from the company on funding, and while VT's defence contracts help to protect them from the credit crunch, who knows? Perhaps they are a maybe.
Finally, promotion from Div 1 - both the top 2 have played in the top division before, but not recently, and the League are very picky over grounds at clubs seeking promotion.
My forecast - no need for transfers - subject to financial difficulties higher up the pyramid, no more than one club down from the SL, 50/50 over anyone promoted from the Wessex Premier, unlikely to be more than one promoted from Div 1, leaving 1 or 2 to be relegated. Unless, of course, the FA do mean it, in which case at least 8 relegated over ground grading!