SL; Banbury Utd appeal rejected & Carnell moves on

Back in June when the FA released their allocations for the restructured non-league pyramid, Banbury United were placed in the Southern League South division, but then on 8th June it was announced due to Shaw Lane folding and the leagues having to restructure again, Banbury had been laterally moved to the South League central division.

The club immediately announced it’s plan to appeal the decision, and that appeal was heard on Monday where it was confirmed that United would indeed be playing in the Central division for the forthcoming season.

The club released the following statement:

The Board of Directors is disappointed by the outcome of yesterday’s (Monday 2nd July) FA appeal hearing relating to the lateral movement of the club’s league allocation for 2018-19 on 8th June.

Our appeal was not motivated by being placed in the Southern League Premier Central Division, but the timing of the decision.

The FA Appeal Panel judged that the original decision of the FA Leagues Management Committee (LMC) was reasonable.

We had argued, as did the other affected clubs, Hednesford and Fleet, that the decision was not reasonable given the late notification of the change. This has seriously impacted our planning for the 2018-19 season and meant that that we were not being treated equably compared to other unaffected teams. We gave detailed information relating to this.

We argued that the impact of the demise of Shaw Lane could have been managed in other ways, including within the Northern Premier Division and its feeder leagues. The confirmation of league line ups comes far later than the relevant league AGMs, something which the FA strive to achieve.

We also showed that there was a lack of clarity relating to the regulations which govern the lateral movement of clubs and that the FA LMC had not actually applied one of the regulations. In terms of governance it is difficult to understand how decisions can be made when the relevant regulations are not actually followed.

The matter is now closed. The club is fully focused on planning to compete in the Southern League Premier Division Central Division for the 2018-19 season

Within hours of the announcement the club then revealed that defender Luke Carnell is to leave the club due to the travelling involved with their placement in the central division.

As a result of yesterday’s FA ruling in respect of our league allocation for 2018-19, Luke Carnell has advised Mike Ford he is leaving the club.

Luke joined Banbury in October 2016 and made 87 appearances and scored 17 goals in his time at the club. He won the Supporters’ Players of the Season, the Players’ Player and the Puritans Radio Player awards last season.

However, living in Didcot, he has decided, for family and work reasons, the travel commitment for matches is too great in the Central Division.

Commenting on the news manager Mike Ford said “I am very disappointed to lose Luke who has been excellent for the club since joining us a couple of months into our first season back at Premier Division level. His commitment has been outstanding and wherever he plays next season, they will be getting a great addition to their team. I fully understand Luke’s reasons for leaving and can only wish him all the best in the future.”

Luke commenting on his decision said “Following yesterday’s failed appeal, having already agreed terms with Mike over the summer to remain a Banbury player, presuming we were in the Southern Premier South, I’ve had to make the hardest decision to leave a club I’ve loved playing for and had a fantastic time at. With the extra travelling from Didcot and the fact my wife and I are expecting our first child in October, I just felt I couldn’t commit to play at Banbury. I’d like to thank everyone at Banbury United from Mike and his staff, the players, all the board members and the fans for all the support they’ve given me and the team during my time at the club. It was everything I was promised when I agreed to sign and more. I’d like to wish you all the best for the season and hope the club goes on to get that desired and deserved promotion.”

We thank Luke for his contributions and commitment during his time with the club and wish him every success in the future.

Luke Carnell

To see the clubs Banbury now face this season follow this link: http://www.evostikleaguesouthern.co.uk/club-info?division_id=42535

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