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Club Folds Leaving League One Short
Smithswood Firs will not take their place in the Total Motion Midland League Division One this season after announcing they are to fold.
04-07-2018 at 16:11

The club finished second in Division Two last season and should have taken their place in Division One this term alongside fellow newly-promoted side NKF Burbage.

 

But, despite agreeing on a ground-share with Lichfield City to ensure they were eligible for promotion, they have confirmed that they will be folding with immediate effect.

 

Smithswood chairman Neil Armstrong said: “We have made the extremely tough decision to fold the club effective immediately.

 

“It is not a decision we have taken lightly but one we feel that had to be made for a number of reasons. Manager Paul Ryder set the club up in 2008 and has guided them from the very bottom of the old Birmingham AFA to Step 6 in the Midland League - a great feat for a volunteer-run club in itself.

 

“I officially came on board to help him when we moved to the Midland League ahead of the 2014 season and since then the two of us have been responsible for running the club.

 

“Recently as the team progressed through the divisions, the demands and commitment have increased but still the two of us continued to run the club.

 

“Last season we covered managing, fundraising, secretary, treasurer, chairman, programme producer as well as keeping all our social media outlets up to date.

 

“With the unprecedented backlog of fixtures, we had to play our commitment was tested fully with no other help running the club and the fact that we won the County Vase and gained promoted is a testament to the players and a reward for all those hours spent in the background.

 

“We have tried to recruit volunteers the past month and bring in investment but have been unsuccessful and with no other help on the horizon this decision has been made as neither Paul or I can guarantee we could be there every match day next season and, going into Step 6 football, we need more than two people running the club.

 

“It will be a massive void in our lives but will give us more time to concentrate on other ventures.

 

“I found out early on that Smithswood Firs was unique in the way it was run, it truly was a family club and ran through hard work. Unfortunately, in the current game once you get to a certain level that is not enough and it becomes a business which is simply too much for two of us to deal with, especially with other commitments away from football.

 

“While it is a sad time to fold the club, Smithswood Firs will forever be in our hearts and the friends we have made will always be a part of our lives as that is just the type of club we were.”

 

Paul Ryder added: “It is with regret that as owner and manager of Smithswood Firs FC, I have folded the club with immediate effect. The lack of financial backing and people to help Neil and I run the cub were the deciding factors.

 

“It has been fantastic and an enjoyable part of my life, it wasn’t just my club it was my baby and my wife and children have put up with so much over the years for which I would like to thank them. I am now taking time off to concentrate on other things.”

 

It means Division One is now running one short of its proposed constitution of twenty teams.

Copyright Non League Today. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to the Non League Today website as the source and a link back to the Non League Today website.
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© Copyright Non League Today 2018 all rights reserved
Club Folds Leaving League One Short
04-07-2018 at 16:11
Smithswood Firs will not take their place in the Total Motion Midland League Division One this season after announcing they are to fold.

The club finished second in Division Two last season and should have taken their place in Division One this term alongside fellow newly-promoted side NKF Burbage.

 

But, despite agreeing on a ground-share with Lichfield City to ensure they were eligible for promotion, they have confirmed that they will be folding with immediate effect.

 

Smithswood chairman Neil Armstrong said: “We have made the extremely tough decision to fold the club effective immediately.

 

“It is not a decision we have taken lightly but one we feel that had to be made for a number of reasons. Manager Paul Ryder set the club up in 2008 and has guided them from the very bottom of the old Birmingham AFA to Step 6 in the Midland League - a great feat for a volunteer-run club in itself.

 

“I officially came on board to help him when we moved to the Midland League ahead of the 2014 season and since then the two of us have been responsible for running the club.

 

“Recently as the team progressed through the divisions, the demands and commitment have increased but still the two of us continued to run the club.

 

“Last season we covered managing, fundraising, secretary, treasurer, chairman, programme producer as well as keeping all our social media outlets up to date.

 

“With the unprecedented backlog of fixtures, we had to play our commitment was tested fully with no other help running the club and the fact that we won the County Vase and gained promoted is a testament to the players and a reward for all those hours spent in the background.

 

“We have tried to recruit volunteers the past month and bring in investment but have been unsuccessful and with no other help on the horizon this decision has been made as neither Paul or I can guarantee we could be there every match day next season and, going into Step 6 football, we need more than two people running the club.

 

“It will be a massive void in our lives but will give us more time to concentrate on other ventures.

 

“I found out early on that Smithswood Firs was unique in the way it was run, it truly was a family club and ran through hard work. Unfortunately, in the current game once you get to a certain level that is not enough and it becomes a business which is simply too much for two of us to deal with, especially with other commitments away from football.

 

“While it is a sad time to fold the club, Smithswood Firs will forever be in our hearts and the friends we have made will always be a part of our lives as that is just the type of club we were.”

 

Paul Ryder added: “It is with regret that as owner and manager of Smithswood Firs FC, I have folded the club with immediate effect. The lack of financial backing and people to help Neil and I run the cub were the deciding factors.

 

“It has been fantastic and an enjoyable part of my life, it wasn’t just my club it was my baby and my wife and children have put up with so much over the years for which I would like to thank them. I am now taking time off to concentrate on other things.”

 

It means Division One is now running one short of its proposed constitution of twenty teams.

Copyright Non League Today. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to the Non League Today website as the source and a link back to the Non League Today website.
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Non League Today Head editor Steve Whitney.

Former Swansea and Kettering Town defender who went on to play for several clubs including Raunds and Biggleswade Town. Read More

 
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