NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Going down could have been the end for Huntingdon Town
- Credit: Archant
Chairman Doug McIlwain has revealed that relegation could have spelt the end for Huntingdon Town.
The local club were battling to avoid the drop from the United Counties League when the 2019/20 campaign was declared null and void.
Town sat second-bottom of Division One but were hopeful of climbing away from danger on the pitch after picking up four points from two games under new boss Laurence Revell.
McIlwain believes scrapping the campaign completely is a fairer outcome than using a points-per-game system to calculate finishing positions – something which would have condemned Town to relegation.
However, he admits he is full of sympathy for clubs who were denied possible title successes and promotions by the Football Association decision late last week.
“Folding the club would have been my recommendation to the board had we gone down,” said McIlwain.
“That would be based on the fact we were unable to have a full season and our relegation would have been completely unjust.
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“I don’t believe Huntingdon Town is a Step 7 club and I wouldn’t have wanted to see us playing at that level. If they had ended the season with current positions standing it would have been totally unfair.
“The FA constantly talk about there being a level playing field, but that definitely wouldn’t have been the case using points-per-game when teams still had so many matches to go.
“St Ives Town are in the same position as us and just like ourselves, I know they were confident of getting themselves out of trouble on the pitch had that been possible.
“But I’m sure that if I was the chairman of a club chasing promotion or a title, I would not feel this way.
“I feel very sorry for Bugbrooke sitting top of our league for example. They are a lovely club run by some great people and have an excellent team, but they are not going to get the reward they should.
“The same goes for a lot of clubs up and down the land but there are bigger things going on in the world than football.
“However, it is my view that the season should have been ended in the right way whenever that might be before worrying about next season.
“But decisions have to be made in life and sometimes we just have to accept them. It is not possible to fight every battle and challenge every issue.”
McIlwain revealed Town will lose several thousands of pounds in revenue due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
They had been due to stage four county cup finals and have also lost a number of bookings for their clubhouse during the summer.
But the club are already looking to next season and are confident of making progress with Revell in the hotseat.
McIlwain added: “These are tough times for all and I’m certainly not going to bellyache over us losing revenue when there are businesses going to the wall.
“I’m sure football clubs will bounce back once life returns to normal. People will still want to play football and people will still want to watch football.
“I’m in regular contact with Laurence and the plan is very much that he will be the Huntingdon Town manager next season.
“He made a big impact in a short space of time and hopefully we can continue that improvement once we get back into action.”