RELIEVED Linby Colliery Welfare have been given official confirmation that they are to remain in the top division of the Notts Senior League (NSL).
But it is only because the league has suffered a major blow with the defection to the Central Midlands League of four leading clubs, Basford United, Clifton, Bilborough Pelican and Notts Police.
Linby finished rock-bottom of the Senior Division last term with just seven points from 30 games.
In normal circumstances, they would have dropped into Division One. But the defections have handed them a reprieve, which is a big boost for new managers Dave Bradshaw and Dave Marlow.
Promoted to take the place of the rebel clubs are Ruddington Village, Vernon Villa and Magdala Amateurs, while Selston move in from the Midland Regional Alliance.
The changes were announced at the NSL’s annual general meeting, which was held at the Rolls-Royce Leisure Club in Hucknall.
Rumours that Bulwell were to fold have been laid to rest. They remain in the top flight, alongside Linby, as well as Rolls and Hucknall-based champions, Boots Athletic.
However Bulwell’s reserve-side have dropped out of Division Two, which will include locals outfits, Linby Reserves and Hucknall Town Reserves.
Carrying on in Division One are Boots Reserves and Rolls Reserves, who were presented with the division’s Fair Play Award at the meeting to reward their excellent disciplinary record in manager Ash Hobbs’s farewell campaign last season.