Southwold pull out of Anglian Combination League

Southwold Town Football Club have pulled out of the Anglian Combination Football League with immediate effect in order to “stabilise and restructure” the club.

President John Pigneguy confirmed Wold will be putting all their resources into its reserve side, who operate in the Lowestoft & District League Division Three, while Russell Palmer has been named the new chairman to replace Richard Pope.

Mr Pigneguy admitted it was a difficult decision but one that had to be made to ensure the club’s survival.

“Things have got quite difficult lately, player unavailability being one of the main problems,” he said. “The club was starting to operate beyond its means and the best thing to do to save the club was that we should stabilise what we have already got.

“The most important thing is that there is still a club. It was a difficult decision to pull out but we needed to do it to pull the club together.

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“We’ve got a new, young chairman and hopefully he will be able to breathe a bit of new life into things. Richard Pope has done a fantastic job and he decided to stand down and make way for someone else.”

Southwold have had difficulties in raising a side in recent weeks and Mr Pigneguy admitted it is not easy getting players to commit to playing every weekend nowadays.

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“Players just don’t want to commit to playing every single Saturday,” he added. “It’s a change from the way of life and how it used to be and we have to adapt the club accordingly.

“It was a very postive meeting because everyone knew the club could not continue with everything staying the same. Just having one team now means that the expenditure will be less and there will be less strain on the finances.

“Southwold Town Reserves will now just be known as Southwold Town and I think they will do really well. They are the club now.”

Mr Pigneguy hopes the club can work its way back into the Anglian Combination structure in the future after a period of consolidation.

“That would be nice if it’s possible but we are just going to have to see how we go,” he said. “Several people have said that once you leave the Anglian Combination League then you can’t get back in but I don’t think that’s the case any longer.

“Gayton dropped out the league a few years ago and have come back. The days of the Anglian Combination having a long list of teams waiting to get into it are in the past. I think it realises it needs to be a bit more flexible.”

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