Chairman Andy Saunders accepts full responsibility for AFC Mansfield’s relegation

Bulls chairman Andy Saunders
Bulls chairman Andy Saunders

AFC Mansfield chairman Andy Saunders has accepted full responsibility for the club’s relegation from the Evo-Stik NPL East Division.

Relegation has been enforced by the league after the Bulls failed to meet the required ground grading criteria by its deadline of the end of last month.

It comes with the team nine points above the relegation places with three games left.

Additional seating, sheltered standing, a first aid room and a rearrangement of toilets were all required to meet the league’s ground standards.

Mr Saunders said: “It is with deep regret that we have announced that due to the fact that ground improvements have not been completed by 31 March, we are to be relegated to a league as specified by the Football Association. We have requested that we be placed in the relevant Step 5 league.

“As chairman of the club I accept full responsibility for the relegation of the club, but 2018 was an awful year for me personally. In previous years we have been well in front with ground improvements, but these last 12 months have been totally different.

“The 2019/20 season will give us new challenges but under the guidance of Mark Ward as manager and John Froggatt as assistant I am sure we will have a successful season and you can rest assured that should we be in a position to get promoted back to the Northern Premier League, myself, the directors and committee will ensure that things are in place to ensure our promotion.

“We have three games left to play this season, and I know the players will be giving their all in all of these games.”