Needham are staying put for now

NEEDHAM Market have failed to undertake necessary ground improvements in time to move up from the Ridgeons League to the new Step Four league.The closing date was March 31.

By Elvin King

NEEDHAM Market have failed to undertake necessary ground improvements in time to move up from the Ridgeons League to the new Step Four league.

The closing date was March 31. Lowestoft are in a similar position, and with Wisbech Town withdrawing their application only AFC Sudbury and Bury Town are now in line to go up.

They both successfully completed their requirements.


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But Needham chairman Nick Francis said today that he has not completely ruled out the club playing at a higher level in 2006/07.

He said: “If we finish in the top three, and the Football Association came to us in the summer, we would probably speculate and find the £20,000 or so needed to upgrade our Bloomfields ground.

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“We have some at the club who are a bit conservative, but also professional people who would be happy to oversee a move up the ladder. Look at Histon, they were playing in the Ridgeons League, Division One a few years ago.

“They are now close to moving up to the Conference proper.”

With only a maximum of two clubs moving out of the Ridgeons League, this confirms the relegation of Clacton Town, who are already confirmed to finish bottom of the Premier Division.

HATS off to the Ridgeons League for having the highest average attendance figures of all 12 Step Five leagues in the country.

This is a reward for the professional way the league is run, the standard of football provided and the facilities available at Ridgeons grounds.

This season's average attendance of 142 is almost 20 per cent higher than the next highest league, and double that of three leagues.

Another feather in the Ridgeons League's cap is that their attendance figures are higher than half the Step Four leagues in the country, with the Southern League (East) having a lower figure.

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