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|ALTY REPRIEVED - BOSTON DEMOTED - WESTON REPRIEVED - MERGER APPROVED - LOOPHOLE CLOSED
Following the AGM of the Football Conference this weekend, Weston-super-Mare will be playing in Blue Square South next season, as will the new Hayes/Yeading merged club, but Boston United have been demoted to Blue Square North, thus reprieving Altrincham from the drop from the Premier.
Altrincham have been sensationally saved from relegation for the second year running.
The Robins will take their place in the Blue Square Premier next season after gaining a reprieve at the Conference AGM.
Taking their place in the Blue Square North will be Boston United, who have been demoted on financial grounds.
Boston, who were only recently relegated from League Two, are currently struggling with massive debts and have been locked out of their own ground.
They also entered into a CVA on the last day of the season and it is thought the terms of the agreement are the reason for their demotion.
It is the second consecutive year Alty have been saved at the last minute.
In 2006 the Robins looked destined for relegation after being slapped with an eighteen-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player, only for Scarborough to be sent down instead, also on financial grounds.
Chairman Geoff Goodwin believes the decision provides vindication for the ethical way in which the Moss Lane club has been run since being on the verge of bankruptcy five years ago.
He said: "It's the great escape.
"I do feel sorry for Boston but that's football isn't it?
"It's justice for us because we have aimed to do the right thing at this club, rather than running it into debt to chase the dream.
"I had set my mind for a season in the Blue Square North so this has come as a massive shock. You just don't expect a reprieve second time around.
"Fair play to the Conference for doing the right thing though.
"I"m sure there will be a few more clubs following behind Boston unless people change the way they are run. What's the point in having a budget you can't afford?
"This club is on its way back to where it used to be.
However, Goodwin also advised caution ahead of the new campaign.
He said: "We have to remember that we didn't get survival on the pitch this year so there is a lot of work ahead of us to make sure we don't have to worry about any of this next time.
"This league is very tough for part-time clubs. Last time the bottom five was made up of the five part-time clubs and I'm sure it will be a similar situation again.
"We can't get carried away with ourselves. Everyone needs to stay focussed and get behind the team so we can build on this."
The same AGM ratified the joining of forces of Hayes and Yeading, thus reprieving Weston.
After a request from both sets of fans, the board of directors have registered the new club with the relevant authorities as Hayes & Yeading United Football Club, and they too will take their place in the newly-named Blue Square South.
Meanwhile, the Football League has closed the loophole that allowed Leeds United to go into administration without suffering a ten-point deduction for next season.
From next season any club going into administration after the fourth Thursday in March will have their ten-point deduction suspended.
If the club is relegated the points will be deducted from their tally at the start of next season.
If the club stays up the ten points will be taken off their final total.
The club would then go down if the ten-point deduction subsequently resulted in it slipping into a relegation place.
The rule change was passed unanimously by the seventy-two chairmen of the Football League at their annual general meeting in Portugal.
Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney said: "I am delighted that clubs have backed their board so strongly on this issue.
"The changes we have made enable the League's 'Sporting Sanctions' regulations to remain true to their original aim.
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