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Outrage over decision to move Kendal Town to Northern League

The South Lakes MP has written to football’s governing body after Kendal Town were told they’d be playing in a predominantly North East based league next season.

The Mintcakes were relegated from the Northern Premier League into the North West Counties League in 2023, but after a strong season, narrowly missed out on a play off place on the final day of the season.

Both the North West Counties League and the Northern League sit on the same step of the non-league pyramid system, but the make up of the Northern League and Kendal Town’s South Cumbrian location would mean a number of lengthy away trips, predominantly to the North East.

The North West Counties League contains clubs mainly in Lancashire, Merseryside and Greater Manchester.

Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, said: ‘’It’s an outrageous decision to move Kendal Town FC to the northern league with no notice and just one working day to appeal.

‘’It shows zero understanding of the geography of Cumbria, the heritage and status of the club and will be hugely damaging.

‘’I’ve written to the FA demanding a reversal.’’

The letter to Mark Bullingham, Chief Executive Officer, The Football Association, says: ‘’I write to represent my constituents with regard to the FA's unilateral decision to move Kendal Town FC from the North West Counties League Premier Division to the Northern League Division One.

‘’While Penrith and Carlisle benefit from major East/West routes, Kendal does not and will be left with significantly longer journey times with the team set to travel upwards of a hundred miles in each direction for most away games.

‘’Kendal is a Westmorland town with close links to Lancashire. To move KTFC to a North East division clashes with the club's heritage as a North West outfit. As such, I worry that the club will lose players as most opt to play for KTFC in the NWCPD to be scouted for Northern Premier and National League teams some of the largest of which are based in the North West.

‘’I am extremely concerned that this move puts the future of the club at great risk by putting the club under extreme financial pressure while also moving it outside of its regional network.

‘’Additionally, the decision to move KTFC was made with no notice at all and with just one working day to notify of an intention to appeal. This is unacceptable!

‘’I demand that this decision be reversed immediately.

‘’Thank you for your time and assistance in this matter.’’

A spokesperson for Kendal Town, who play their home games at their stadium on Parkside Road, said: ‘’We’re deeply disappointed by the FA's decision to move the club laterally to the Ebac Northern Football League - and without any prior notice.

‘’We will be submitting an appeal to the FA.

‘’The club's committee has met to discuss the appeals process and we are hopeful of a fair hearing.

‘’We will provide further updates when possible.’’

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