South Shields chairman Geoff Thompson has said that the club have appointed ‘a leading QC and law firm’ to represent them as they challenge the decision to null and void the 2019/20 season.
Shields had a 12-point lead in the Northern Premier Division before the campaign was brought to a halt in March and subsequently declared null and void. Denied what appeared a likely promotion to the National League North, the Mariners have spoken since the decision of their intention to challenge.
Speaking to supporters via the Club Website, chairman Thompson gave a full update on matters at South Shields:
Firstly I hope you are all safe and well and managing to adhere to the lockdown measures. Stay safe, stay at home and protect the NHS.
Hopefully we will see some relaxation of the lockdown in the coming weeks and months and we will all be able to return to some normality.
I thought I’d give you all an update on matters relating to the football club.
Given the lockdown there is very little activity presently taking place at the club.
Despite this, we are preparing the pitch for next season with contractors on site improving the drainage and slitting the pitch for treatment, followed by the application of 90 tonnes of sand and seeding. All of this will ensure the Mariners Park surface is in tip-top condition when we return.
We are also moving the dugouts to the opposite side of the pitch, lowering them into the ground by about 0.5m and increasing their size to a 12 person bench.
In addition we are installing a new turnstile unit near the Metro underpass to allow access to the ground from that location, near the 3G pitch.
Our planning application for further ground improvements is still pending but we remain in contact with STMBC and hope to have a decision soon. If successful this will allow the erection of our new stand to seat approaching 1,000 fans with a better view and more comfort!
As many of you may know, we have challenged the FA and the NPL regarding their decision to null and void the 2019-20 season. We have a strong legal argument and have appointed a leading QC and law firm to support us. There is an important principle at stake here regarding the integrity of the football pyramid and we intend to fight the decision to the end. We are supported by hundreds of clubs and thousands of fans with this endeavour. I will keep you posted on progress.
I want to take this opportunity to thank fans and sponsors for their incredible ongoing support. As you may know we have sold an incredible 500+ season tickets, we have sponsors renewing their support and we have had a great take up on a number of initiatives, including our ‘Tickets To The Future’, our merchandise offers and our Sunday lunch service.
Our Foundation and its work with the Harton and Westoe Miners Welfare has also been affected by the lockdown but the management are ensuring the Foundation is ready to return with a full programme of activities when it is safe to do so. Maintenance at the Welfare site continues and works are planned to improve it further.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support and involvement. All of this proves what a great community club we are building and I’m truly humbled and proud to be part of it.
Please take care of yourself and your family, and I hope to see you back at Mariners Park soon.
Very best wishes,
For more news from South Shields please visit their website here