Shoreham Football Club manager Sammy Donnelly says an ongoing wait for clarification on which division his team will be playing in next season is becoming an increasing frustration.
Donnelly, who took over from Bryan O’Toole last month, is still unsure whether he will be in charge of an Isthmian League or Southern Combination League team next season.
O’Toole guided Mussels to a second-placed SCFL Premier Division finish in his one and only term in charge.
Shoreham ended the campaign four points behind table-toppers Haywards Heath Town. However, Heath were charged and handed a nine-point deduction for fielding a player while under a ‘sine die’ suspension during the campaign.
Since being handed the points deduction Haywards Heath have lodged an appeal, but a hearing date is still to be confirmed, so the ongoing issue of whether Shoreham or Haywards Heath are handed the title – plus promotion to the Ryman League with it – wrangles on.
It is an issue that is becoming an increasing frustration for Donnelly, who said: “I think both ourselves and Haywards Heath just want a final decision to be reached.
“They’ve obviously taken the decision to appeal, so the issue will still go on with
an appeal hearing still to come.
“It’s really not a great situation for either ourselves or Haywards Heath.
“There are all sorts of things to sort out with regards to recruitment and other areas should we make the step up into the Ryman League.
“As things stand, it looks as though it will be us who go up into that division for the first time in the club’s history but it’s a case of waiting for a final decision from the hearing to come.”
Donnelly revealed last week that he had held positive discussions with four of last season’s squad.
Lee Denyer, Scott Packer, Jamie Cradock and Lee Denyer have all agreed in principle to stay, while Mussels also look set to sign Ross Myers from Southwick.
Donnelly also held talks with striker Tom Burton earlier this week and hopes the striker will stay at Middle Road.
With the transfer window not open until next month, no deals can be confirmed until then.
Donnelly now feels the ongoing wait with regards to which division his team will be in is having a negative impact of player recruitment.
He said: “I’m speaking to a few players at present but the current situation is making things quite tricky.
“I’ve got some young, hungry players lined up who want to test themselves in the Ryman League.
“At this moment I can’t actually give any assurances that is where we will be playing next season.
“The SCFL Premier Division is going to be so competitive next season and if we are back in that league then these players may well get better offers. At least I’ll have the carrot of Ryman League football for these boys if we are promoted.”
Don't miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you'll be amongst the first to know what's going on.
3) Follow us on Twitter @Shoreham_Herald
4) Register with us by clicking on 'sign in' (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don't miss out!
The Shoreham Herald - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.