Aylesbury FC manager reacts to club's enforced relegation due to dressing room size

Aylesbury FC's Haywood Way ground
Aylesbury FC's Haywood Way ground

Aylesbury FC manager Paul Bonham has said he is 'disappointed' but understands the reasons for the Moles enforced relegation from the Evo-Stik South Division One Central.

The club announced last week that they had taken the decision to accept relegation due to not being able to meet ground grading requirements related to the sizes of the changing rooms in time for next season.

The home dressing room at Aylesbury FC

The home dressing room at Aylesbury FC

Speaking to the Bucks Herald today (Monday) manager Bonham said: "The club received details of the requirements from the Football Association earlier this season but came to the very difficult decision that we would not be able to complete the project within the cut-off time (by the end of March).

"The referees room needs a big overhaul, the home and away dressing rooms need some work and we need to do some more work around the club in general.

"It seems harsh because some of the other grounds we have visited this season are in a worse position.

"I first heard about the news last Wednesday and it was both upsetting and disappointing when I found out that we had taken this decision.

The away changing room at Aylesbury FC's ground

The away changing room at Aylesbury FC's ground

"I am confident that we would have stayed up but it is what it is and hopefully it will bring the dressing room closer together.

"I am fully behind the board and although it is a step back for the club, it will hopefully allow us to go forward in the longer term.

"I chatted individually with the players after the news came through and our ambition for the rest of the season is to keep playing and winning and finishing as high in the table as possible."

Bonham said he did not know whether the possibility of a temporary ground sharing arrangement with another club had been discussed as a way of avoiding relegation.

The Moles lost 4-1 at home to Corby Town at the weekend in their first match since news of their enforced relegation came through.

Despite the defeat, the FC players were applauded off the pitch by the visiting supporters and Bonham said that it was an example of how the wider football community had shown sympathy for the club's plight.

He said: "On social media there was a lot of sympathy for the situation the club is in.

"There were some comments that I believe were harsh but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

"Our opponents at the weekend Corby were very understanding when I spoke to their staff and their fans clapped our players off at the end so all credit to them."

A day after the news of the club's enforced relegation broke, Bonham issued a statement reiterating his commitment to FC.

He said: "I have been here for a few years and the club have shown faith in me by giving me the managerial role.

"We will now consolidate and try to work out how to get to the next level.

"There is great work going on behind the scenes to help us move forward."