Wisbech Town FC have explained why they will not take up promotion to Step 4 of the non-league pyramid next season.
Chairman of the Thurlow Nunn League runners-up, Barry Carter, released a statement.
It said: ”The Board would like to apologise to all shareholders and supporters for the fact that we feel unable to take up promotion next season especially after the achievements of the players and management team, which we thoroughly applaud.
“This statement has not been issued earlier at the express wishes of the manager who wanted to tell his players personally after the last league game. We have complied with this and have acted in the best interests of the shareholders and Wisbech Town Football Club Ltd in not taking promotion.
“We were elected as officials of the Club with certain responsibilities, mainly to ensure the club remains in a viable position.
“We would be remiss if we pursued promotion next season with its burden of extra wages, travel and expenses, which we could not have maintained, and would have jeopardised our very existence.
“Unfortunately we had to apply for promotion last November, when our expenses were sustainable. Three months of dreadful weather slashed our income but not our expenses, which at the time were met by certain individuals.
“We will now endeavour to consolidate to ensure that Wisbech Town Football Club Ltd remains a competitive and viable force.
“As a group the Board also wanted to achieve promotion, as we are all first and foremost supporters, but hard decisions had to be taken, and we were prepared to make them even though we knew we would be criticised.
“We hope that all fans and shareholders will understand that this decision was only taken in the best interests of WTFC.”
Manager of the Fenmen Steve Appleby says he is considering his future with the club.
Leading scorer Chris Bacon is emigrating to New Zealand and Matt Lunn is moving to London. Both players will be making their final appearances for the club in Bank Holiday Monday’s Red Insure Cup final at Diss (3pm) against Stanway Rvrs.