League's going to get tougher, predicts Baird

By Wendy Gee -

ANOTHER of last season's 'relegated' clubs from the Blue Square South could be in line for a reprieve.

If Salisbury City are, as feared, demoted two divisions from the BS Premier because of their failure to comply with the Football Conference's controversial Appendix E*, Forest Green Rovers are in line to remain in the Conference National.

And that in turn could signal a reprieve for serial escape artists Weston-Super-Mare who finished second to bottom of the Blue Square South.

Worcester City, who came third to bottom, have already been let off the hook.

Farsley Celtic and Chester City going out of business, coupled with Grays Athletic dropping out of the Conference structure and Northwich Victoria being kicked out for a breach of rules, left an imbalance.

Subsequently Worcester were spared relegation, but the Midland outfit have been switched across to the Blue Square Bet North.

Looking at the provisional constitution for the 2010/11 BSB South, Eastleigh boss Ian Baird predicts a tougher league than last season when the injury-hit Spitfires finished a disappointing 11th.

"I thought in the season just gone the league wasn't as strong as it was before," said Baird.

"But looking at the teams coming in, it's going to be extremely competitive next season.

"You've got Ebbsfleet coming down from the Premier and Dartford (Ryman Premier champions) and Farnborough (Southern Premier champions) coming up.

"I also thought that Forest Green would be in there, but that will maybe change now depending on what happens with Salisbury."

Also new into the Southern ranks are Boreham Wood, winners of the Ryman play-offs.

*Appendix E states that any club which suffers an insolvency event during the course of a season must pay all creditors in full by the second Saturday in May. According to the rules, failure to pay all creditors in full would mean that the club would not be eligible for inclusion in the league for the next season and the FA would need to place the club in an alternative league.


Basingstoke Town, Bishop's Stortford, Boreham Wood, Braintree Town, Bromley, Chelmsford City, Dartford, Dorchester Town, Dover Athletic, Eastleigh, Ebbsfleet United, Farnborough, Forest Green Rovers, Hampton & Richmond Borough, Havant & Waterlooville, Lewes, Maidenhead United, Staines Town, St. Albans City, Thurrock, Welling United, Woking.


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