Following their decision to move us into the Northern Premier League Midlands division for the 2021/22 season, Histon FC can confirm that we have submitted an appeal to The FA.
This decision was not taken lightly, but we feel that the impact on our club is such that we cannot just accept it without ensuring that those who make these decisions are aware of the implications.
The increase in mileage and subsequent travel times are a serious concern with our now having to plan for 9 away trips of at least 90 minutes each way from the club, and with our squad being made up primarily of players living and working in and around Cambridge and to the south, many of them will face overall travel times of well over two hours each way for these games.
And then there is the added cost. We cannot reasonably expect our squad to continue to travel to these games individually and at their own expense, we must provide them with support in the form of coach or minibus travel and we estimate the extra cost to the club for providing this to be somewhere between £5,000 and £8,000 per season.
The impact on our supporters will be significant too with the extra cost and time needed to follow us away from home, and the FA’s decision will only make it more difficult for our fans to continue to support us in this way. We are proud of and grateful for the tremendous support we see every time we kick off away from Bridge Road and that support is very much valued and appreciated by the club, the players and the staff.
The increased costs and likelihood of losing a number of our players over this are important reasons behind our appeal, but we are also concerned about what happens in the future. Who is to say that we won’t be moved again next season, and/or the season after that and if we were, what of our squad then? It is impossible to plan for the future growth and development of our club with any kind of confidence when we all know that the FA can turn everything upside down on an annual basis.
The FA state on their website that “the restructure will have a positive impact on a significant number of clubs, supporting them with reduced travel and costs and providing greater opportunities for generating income via localised fixtures”. Unfortunately, however they appear to have given no consideration to those clubs for which their actions have had a significant negative impact, massively increasing their travel costs and reducing opportunities for generating income via localised fixtures, and so far they have offered no support of any kind to those affected clubs either.
Our intention to appeal was submitted on Monday 24th May and we are still waiting for confirmation of the date for our hearing although we expect to hear more on that in the near future. We will make a further statement once the outcome is known.
Thank you all for your continued support.
Histon FC Board.