Staveley Miners Welfare FC apply for voluntary relegation

Staveley Miners Welfare FC chairman and owner Terry Damms has announced he has asked the Football Association to reposition the Trojans in the Northern Counties East League Division One for the 2022/23 season.

Thursday, 31st March 2022, 11:16 am
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 12:23 pm

In a lengthy statement released on Wednesday evening, Damms cited a desire to restructure the club’s finances in a way that can see a more modest but still competitive wage budget at the lower level in turn aid the continued and extensive redevelopment of the club’s infrastructure, including the build of a new educational facility, and help leave it debt-free within five years.

Staveley currently sit in mid-table in the league above, the NCEL Premier, meaning any drop could theoretically see them take one of the division’s two relegation places instead of a club that finishes in the relegation zone at the end of the campaign.

Damms said in his statement: “In July 2019 we put a master plan in place to transform our ground at Inkersall Road.

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Extensive redevelopment has taken place at Inkersall Road in the last three years, with further plans in place.

"We have been successful in securing just shy of £1.4m of grants towards the total construction costs of £1.65m on these projects. In order to transform the ground and facilities I had to arrange a series of loans of some £250,000.

"We also have to accrue £20,000 each year for the next ten years to replace the 3G pitch. We have targeted clearing the loans in five years that will then leave the club free of all debt.

"Each non-league club committee/financial benefactor, will set their own aims and objectives.

"I am at times appalled when I visit grounds that have had little or no fan facilities improvements in years yet I hear budgets of £1,500 to £2,000 a week. It is, for me, immoral where fans suffer with no ground toilets or where changing rooms are filthy and dangerous.

"My primary target here is to provide the best possible facilities for our fans, for those using and visiting the ground seven days a week, whilst also providing a modest playing budget and where the football club is financially self-sufficient and not reliant on any one person or company’s monies.

"It is where the club’s future is secured for decades to come.”

Damms explained that he has no intention of increasing the club’s playing budget to the detriment of the other plans in place at Inkersall Road, and with that in mind has opted to drop down one level, which in turn could also see the club’s reserves and U21 sides be more easily able to supplement the first team squad if players are suitable.

He said: “I have therefore written to the FA National League and asked in readiness for the 2022/23 season to reposition Staveley MWFC at step six, Division One in the NCEL.

"I believe that by 2026/27, our club with our well-known ethos [will] be free from indebtedness, will have a management structure united as one from U21 to step seven and in to the NCEL, hopefully back at step five.

"Off the field, the building of the south stand behind the dugouts is perhaps my last major project at the club before I call time on my holding the chairman and owners position here. At that point, the future of Staveley MWFC will be set, free from debt and financially self-sustainable with the best facilities for miles around.

"The community and families of Staveley will know that their community football club is here to stay for them.”