EAST Preston Football Club’s hopes of promotion to the Ryman League are over, according to The FA’s constitution for next season.
The governing body released their league allocations for Steps 1 to 4 of the non-league ladder last week and have promoted East Grinstead in place of Sussex County Football League champions EP.
The league make-up is still subject to any appeals, although Dominic Di Paola’s side are resided to the fact they have missed out on promotion.
The runaway Division 1 winners failed their ground grading inspection at the end of March and, although they have lodged an appeal to try to over-rule it, this has ultimately cost them their promotion.
Under The FA’s constitution, County League runners-up East Grinstead, South Park and Whyteleafe will join the Ryman League South Division for the 2014-15 campaign, along with relegated Premier Division side Carshalton.
Director of football at EP Brian Harwood admitted the club are still “licking their wounds” over the heart-breaking decision.
He said: “All in all, we are very disappointed. I feel a little bit let down that they were a bit stringent.
“They could have given us a bit of leeway as it wasn’t like we won the league by an odd point – we were head and shoulders above the rest.
“I feel sorry for the manager and all of the players as they did so well and worked so hard every week. We are still licking our wounds a bit at the moment.”
Full story in this week’s paper.