The application was not received at Wembley FA offices, says Ashford United secretary Denise Peach
ASHFORD UNITED’S promotion push took a blow today when the club admitted that their application was not received by The Football Association.
Sixty-eight clubs have submitted their applications for promotion from Step Five to Four ahead of the 30 November 2016 deadline.
AFC Croydon Athletic (currently in sixth-place); Corinthian (eleventh); Crowborough Athletic (third); Hollands & Blair (fifth); Sevenoaks Town (fourth); Sheppey United (second) and Whitstable Town (eighth) submitted their applications in time.
Ashford United are presently leading the Southern Counties East Football League table with 43 points from 18 games – and were not on the list that was published by the governing body on Monday.
Clubs must pay a non-refundable application fee for £120 and must provide The FA a set of approved audited or certified annual accounts; a copy of the club’s latest floodlight certificate; a copy of Memorandum & Articles of Association or Club Rules in order to provide evidence of entity.
They must also provide Security of Tenure documentation or a copy of their ground share agreement (if in a ground share arrangement) which must cover the following season and in Ashford United’s case, a copy of their latest artificial pitch performance test certificate.
The application fee will cover the cost of one grading visit if required. If more than one grading visit is required club’s will be charged a further £120 per visit.
A statement from The Football Association on the subject last year said: “Any forms, accompanying documentation or application fee received after 30 November deadline will NOT be accepted.”
Ashford United’s club secretary Denise Peach issued a club statement on www.ashfordunited.co.uk today.
“Having discovered at the weekend that Ashford United was not named on the list of clubs applying for promotion, I contacted The FA to find out why.
“It has taken a couple of days to establish but it appears that the application was not received at Wembley FA offices.
“I have resent the application by email today. We have been informed that we will have to enter an appeal within 14 days asking for our application to be accepted late.
“We will, of course, enter the appeal process immediately. I will endeavour to keep you all up to date as the process progresses.
“I had to check the precise reason why we were not on the list before making this statement, so apologies to the true supporters of football and especially of Ashford United that they have had to suffer the ill-founded comments from those who make judgements without knowledge and especially to our players who are doing so well on the park.
“Please keep up the fantastic support that you give Danny Lye and all his staff and players week in week out, they all really appreciate your efforts as we do.
“Thank you for your continued support through difficult times off the field.”
The league title winners, should they meet ground grading criteria and have submitted their application for promotion, are promoted to the Ryman Football League Division One North or South.
Visit Ashford United’s website: www.ashfordunitedfc.com