AFC Fylde will lick their wounds if relegation is confirmed vows owner David Haythornthwaite

David Haythornthwaite says AFC Fylde will have to “lick their wounds” and prepare for life in National League North should their relegation be confirmed.

Saturday, 20th June 2020, 8:00 am
Chairman David Haythornthwaite admits relegation looks likely but AFC Fylde could yet survive "on a technicality"

As it stands, the Coasters are waiting for clarification on whether play-offs in the National League North and South will go ahead.

If they do, Jim Bentley’s men will go down, having finished the National League season second-bottom after final standings were decided by points-per-game.

While a lot of factors could yet come into play, chairman Haythornthwaite concedes relegation is looking likely.

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He told The Gazette: “It’s the old saying, nothing is over until the fat lady sings. She’s gone a little quiet and she might be at the back of the stage somewhere.

“Although, yes, as it stands it looks like we will be relegated, a number of other things come into play.

“There are still a lot of problems out there. We’re all suffering in football, with no income and no cash, and some clubs will fold.

“There’s the Macclesfield situation and a couple of other clubs I can’t mention are basket cases as well.

“Maybe they could be demoted? They’re even talking about putting Macclesfield into National League North.

“There’s all the things above us and then below us. There’s the situation with the play-offs and a lot of controversy about that.

“Players at that level aren’t elite athletes so they shouldn’t, in many people’s view, be playing because the Government decreed only elite athletes should play.

“More important is the cost of going through the play-offs. We’ve had access to Government guidelines which say it’s somewhere between £20,000 and £25,000 a week just to be in training and doing all the testing.

“You’ve got four or five weeks before the play-offs, so you’re looking at a bill of around £100,000, plus the cost of staging the play-offs, which are very expensive.

“Whether those clubs are able to complete the play-offs, who knows? But the League have been very clear they need four clubs in each division to say, ‘We want to play’.

“Both divisions have to play the play-offs, so if the South want to play but the North don’t, then the play-offs are null and void and no-one else gets promoted, which would see us stay up.

“If we get out on a technicality, then we’re very, very lucky. We may do but we may not. If we don’t, we’ll go down, lick our wounds and prepare ourselves for life in the National League North.”