LANCING Football Club manager Richard ‘Tricky’ Whittington says his side’s relegation is a “travesty” and believes they do not deserve to go down.
Lancing finished third from bottom in County League Division 1, three points adrift of safety, after losing 2-1 at home to Shoreham on Saturday.
The Culver Road club were deducted six points earlier in the season after being adjudged to have fielded an ineligible player.
They were penalised for failing to gain international clearance for goalkeeper James Shaw, after he had played in a friendly for a team in the Philippines.
Lancing were unhappy with the decision as they felt there was no evidence the player signed a form with the Asian club.
Whittington said: “We are all devastated and it is an absolute travesty that it’s been decided by the points deduction and not what happened on the football pitch.
“We were deducted six points and have gone down by three, so it doesn’t take a genius to realise what the deciding factor was.
“We picked up more points than Selsey, Hailsham and Lingfield and the same as Shoreham this season, so I don’t think anyone can say we deserve it.
“Had we not had the deduction then people would be saying we had a half decent season as we had to build a completely new squad with no budget whatsoever.
“But instead we are going down and the repercussions now are likely to be massive.”
Lancing went into the weekend’s game knowing that they only had to match Selsey’s result against Lingfield to stay up.
However, it was not to be as Selsey ran out 3-2 winners, while second-half goals from Ebou Jallow and Craig Stevens gave Shoreham the victory at Culver Road, despite a late strike from Jonno Melia.